NEW figures showing the level of homelessness across Wales have been released.
Housing charity Shelter says at least 25,937 people experienced homeless across Wales in 2017/18 – which is three per cent higher than last year.
In Cardiff, Shelter estimates 4,547 people were homeless during the year – the figures include people who were in temporary accommodation, sofa surfing, or sleeping on the streets.
In Newport, Shelter says at least 2,228 people experienced homelessness, in Wrexham the figure was 1,800 and in Neath Port Talbot it was 1,497.
Shelter says the figures refer to people who made a homelessness application to their local authorities that year, which not all homeless people would have done.
The figures also do not include the amount of people threatened by homelessness.
Across the UK, Shelter says at least 320,000 people were affected by homelessness.
A Shelter spokeswoman said: “Homelessness in Wales is on the rise due to increasing rents, welfare reform and a lack of social housing.
“There are some parts of Wales where there’s literally no accommodation for single people on low incomes, making sofa surfing or street homelessness the only realistic options. In the last year more than 25,000 people experienced homelessness – that’s equivalent to the entire population of Penarth.
“Although Welsh Government has done a lot in recent years to help prevent homelessness, we need to do more to help people who are already homeless.
“We need to break down the barriers that are preventing people getting the homes they need. This means building the right type of affordable homes, reversing some of the most damaging welfare reforms, and increasing people’s rights to homelessness assistance by ending the priority need test.”
Shelter took government statistics for the number of households which applied for help with homelessness with their local authorities, multiplied by the average household size for Wales.
Homelessness in Wales – by council area:
Neath Port Talbot 1497
Vale of Glamorgan 690
Rhondda Cynon Taff 1317
Blaenau Gwent 607