MOST rough sleepers in Gwent have been found accommodation since the coronavirus outbreak - but some are still to be homed.

The Welsh Government made £10 million available to councils in Wales to take “immediate and direct action to protect the homeless and rough sleepers” from the virus.

Housing minister Julie James said money could be used by councils to block purchase B&Bs, hotel rooms and empty student accommodation to house the homeless.


And three weeks after the announcement, all rough sleepers in Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly have been found accommodation, while Newport, Monmouthshire and Torfaen councils are working to find housing.

Blaenau Gwent council has placed 10 rough sleepers into self-contained emergency accommodation, with support referrals submitted to the housing association, Pobl.

The authority says there are no rough sleepers currently waiting to be placed into emergency accommodation.

Caerphilly council says it has provided relief accommodation “for all those rough sleepers identified as having a local connection in the Caerphilly county borough.”

It has helped 14 rough sleepers into such accommodation.

Monmouthshire County Council says it is aware of four people still sleeping rough, while two other rough sleepers have been supported into accommodation.

A spokeswoman for the council said it “continues to monitor the situation and follow the advice issued by the government.”

“Ensuring the safety of our most vulnerable during this difficult time is the council’s utmost priority,” she said.

The council has asked registered social landlords to provide ‘move-on permanent accommodation’ which the council will allocate as a direct let.

It is looking at leasing a housing association property that was previously earmarked for the Syrian re-location programme and is working with bed and breakfast owners to explore housing options.

A family hostel has been temporarily converted to support rough sleepers and the local authority is working with church groups to provide extra accommodation if it is needed.

Newport council is working with organisations such as the Wallich, Pobl and Eden Gate, as well as Gwent Police, to help ‘safeguard’ those who sleep rough in the city.

“We have obtained temporary accommodation for rough sleepers being mindful of the Welsh Government guidelines to place people in appropriate housing,” a council spokeswoman said.

“As well as finding them somewhere to stay and organising the provision of regular meals, we are also ensuring that they have the necessary support in relation to professional health, medication and substance abuse services.”


Meanwhile Torfaen council says some rough sleepers have accepted placements offered, while two people have declined support.

Three other rough sleepers remain in temporary accommodation.

The council is working alongside its partners, Cornerstone, to support to rough sleepers.