Hundreds given temporary accommodation during coronavirus pandemic
More than 700 people have been given temporary accommodation in Bridgend county borough since March. It follows an increase of almost 25 percent in the number of people coming to the local authority to request help with housing compared to the same period last year. Between March and October, Bridgend County Borough Council received 1,010 homelessness applications. While not all of those who applied for help required emergency accommodation, the council provided temporary accommodation for 721 people, from 540 different households. The local authority successfully prevented or relieved the homelessness of 280 households, supporting them to move into long-term accommodation. Funding for temporary accommodation and support has been available by Welsh Government for this period. The council’s cabinet member for future generations and wellbeing Councillor Dhanisha Patel said: “While not all those who came to us for help were a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic the figures show the extent of the demand for housing services during this period.
People present as homeless for a variety of reasons whether that involves the threat of losing their accommodation, family breakdown or relationship breakdown, for example. Sometimes people apply and other solutions become available during the process. In March the council put in place a number of measures to help support homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless to keep them safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout the pandemic we have worked closely with partners such as The Wallich, Pobl and registered social landlords as well as voluntary organisations to provide both practical support such as emergency accommodation and advice on a range of areas, including guidance in relation to private landlords and the rules around rent arrears. Temporary accommodation has included a range of bed and breakfasts, hotels, and supported housing – we’d like to thank all those who have helped vulnerable and homeless people who might otherwise have faced having to sleep rough during the crisis. Work continues between the council and its partners to provide a range of options for people currently in temporary accommodation as we seek to move them into more permanent and long term homes.” Homelessness and housing register applications can be made via the council website. People can also email the council at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01656 643643. Apply to be on the housing register on our Housing register webpage.
Mental health and wellbeing in spotlight for Safeguarding Week 2020
Bridgend County Borough Council is joining other organisations across Wales to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing for Safeguarding Week. As a member of the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Board (CTMSB), the council will be highlighting the theme Talking Saves Lives and the importance of people reaching out and speaking to someone whenever they may be struggling. Cabinet member for wellbeing and future generations Councillor Dhanisha Patel said: “This year, with Covid-19 and lockdowns disrupting everyday routines, many people have been unable to access activities like going to the gym and attending groups, which they may normally rely on to help them cope with the stresses of daily life. As we enter the winter period, the council and its partners are keen to focus on positive mental wellbeing and will be pointing residents towards the support available to help them with a series of online events. Throughout Safeguarding Week, which runs between November 16 and 20, a stand will be available at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, to provide staff and the public with information about organisations who can offer support for various mental health issues. Bridgend College students will also be offered advice about where to access help.” Cabinet member for social services and early help Councillor Nicole Burnett said: “It’s very important that people know how to look after their mental health. A number of activities will be running online for Safeguarding Week, including virtual youth clubs, workshops for professionals and a two-day health and wellbeing event, which will offer education, activities and a chance to hear personal stories. We would encourage residents to take a look at the events programme and join in some of the workshops.” For a full schedule of events and details of how to attend, visit the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Week webpage. Safeguarding boards are statutory partnerships made up of the agencies that are responsible for safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk within their regions and ensures people of all ages are protected from abuse, neglect or other kinds of harm.