RISING levels of homelessness in Gwent are likely to "get worse" in the coming years, councillors have been warned.

The number of households requesting homelessness assistance from local authorities in the region has steadily increased over the past three years.

Newport has the highest demand on its homeless services, followed by Caerphilly, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire.

A report has revealed statistics for the number of requests for assistance made to councils since 2015/16:


2,154 (2015/16), 2,532 (2016/17), 2,142 (2017/18)


672 (2015/16), 1,581 (2016/17), 1,972 (2017/18)


780 (2015/16), 1,053 (2016/17), 1,116 (2017/18)

Blaenau Gwent

552 (2015/16), 651 (2016/17), 668 (2017/18)


591 (2015/16), 744 (2016/17), 584 (2017/18)

The report says that the levels of successful preventions across Gwent “appear to be broadly decreasing” during the same period.

Figure show that 16 to 24 year olds, single-person households and men make up large numbers of those seeking help.

Now the five councils have banded together to develop the Gwent Regional Homeless Strategy, a four-year plan aimed at providing fair, equal support and housing to vulnerable people.

READ MOREGwent councils bid to tackle homelessness with new strategy

Each of the councils will have action plans tailored to meet the challenges they face within their respective areas.

Concerns were raised over the homelessness situation in Caerphilly at a meeting of the council’s policy and resources scrutiny committee on Tuesday.

In Caerphilly, an extra 391 additional households approached the homeless service between 2016/17 and 2017/18.

The council’s housing solutions manager, Sue Cousins, told councillors: “We’ve done really well up to this stage but across Gwent, homelessness is going to get worse.

“This strategy is quite radical, and this action plan is the very first step for the next few years.

“We’ve got great resources and people working with us who have great skills.”

The meeting heard that the 10-point action plan for Caerphilly is the first that the council has had to tackle homelessness.

Councillor Roy Saralis asked how the authority could address the issue with a significant shortfall in housing availability, adding that most estates were being developed in “affluent” areas.

The committee’s chair, Councillor James Pritchard, added that there was an “acute” need for affordable housing, specifically single-person accommodation.

Ms Cousins suggested that bringing empty homes back into use – one of several measures being explored by the council to address the lack of housing – could help the situation.

READ MOREPlans to boost Caerphilly council's housing stock approved

Councillor Mike Adams told the meeting that a homeless person who appeared at Blackwood police station was taken back to Cardiff where overnight accommodation had been arranged.

Ms Cousins said the police would have contacted the council’s homelessness team, which keeps a record of homeless people based in the borough.

“If you are applying for housing you join a register, if you have a local connection you have more say,” she said.

“If you are legally defined as homeless, housing duty will go to where you have your local connection. Priority will always be given to local people.”