FAMILIES facing homelessness are struggling to find homes due to unnecessary barriers being put up by registered social landlords, a senior Caerphilly council officer has said.

Private rents have gone up in the borough and some social housing providers are more selective in who they take on as tenants, particularly those claiming benefits or in rent arrears.

Last year Caerphilly council accommodated 471 households at risk of homelessness in emergency accommodation and bed and breakfasts, with privately-rented properties also relied on to house those in need.


But housing solutions manager Sue Cousins told the Caerphilly Homes Task Group that fewer homeless households were being taken on by RSLs.

“You’ve got social landlords whose job and role in life is to provide social housing and they’re now telling people that you can’t afford our housing,” said Ms Cousins on May 16.

“I think that needs to be looked at. I’m sorry, you’re social landlords at the end of the day.

“There are some who put up more barriers that don’t need to be there.”

Ms Cousins said the bulk of the council’s housing budget is spent on helping tenants salvage their tenancies or find alternative accommodation they can afford.

With hundreds of households requesting homelessness prevention assistance from the council, only 34 private properties have been offered by RSLs since August 2018.

A report says these “reputable” landlords” accept that some people need further tenancy support following their homelessness crisis.

Plaid Cymru councillor Lindsay Whittle suggested that the chief executives of every RSL operating in Caerphilly borough should meet with councillors and explain their actions.

He said: “I find it staggering that registered social landlords who receive millions of pounds from public funds are not able to assist us.

“We give them planning permission to build on precious land, and they have a duty.”

Gwent councils are pushing to develop greater co-operation agreements with RSLs as part of the four-year regional homelessness strategy.