Housing (Wales) Bill

The Housing (Wales) Bill has been introduced which will place a new statutory duty on local authorities to provide new Gypsy and Traveller sites where need has been identified.

The broad aim of the Bill, as stated in the associated explanatory memorandum, is to ensure that more sites are provided in response to identified need. This is stated as leading to:

  1. Improved standard of accommodation.
  2. Better access to services.
  3. Tackling inequality.
  4. Reduction in illegal sites and unauthorised encampments.
  5. Reduce homelessness.
  6. Improved community cohesion.
  7. Reduction in hate crime incidence.

The explanatory memorandum states that a number of social benefits are expected to be realised as a result of the new duty. These include: better attendance and attainment within the education system as education professionals are able to build stable and trusting relationships with families and better uptake of preventative healthcare including vaccinations of children as health visitors are able to access families that they couldn’t access previously. It should also lead to more integration of Gypsies and Travellers into the wider community as individuals access local facilities and a reduced likelihood of children having to life or play in an unsafe environment.

Most fundamentally, the memorandum states, under the new duty many more Gypsies and Travellers will be able to access accommodation appropriate to meet their cultural need. This will have the consequential benefit of less eviction from unauthorised sites and the psychological trauma associated with it.

The memorandum adds that the new duty will be of particular benefit to children and young people, disabled people and older people who may have greater need to access community services.

Date: 18/11/2013 Bill introduced

Author: National Assembly for Wales

DCP link: This item updates DCP section 24.51


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