If you’re already familiar with the HSG and are interested in what you can do to help, including writing to your MS, scroll down.
You may have seen us and other charities and organisations campaigning around the Housing Support Grant. If the Welsh Government has to reduce this funding in the December budget, the consequences for homelessness services in Wales will be dire.
A safe place is one of the first and most fundamental building blocks of our mental and physical wellbeing. As an organisation that operates supported housing and homelessness prevention services, we know the crucial difference that these services can make to people’s lives – and how essential it is that services of this sort are able to keep the lights on.
What is the Housing Support Grant (HSG)?
This is funding from Welsh Government, to local authorities, that funds the majority of our housing and homelessness services in Wales. Over recent years it has stayed flat – which means it is technically a cut, when inflation is taken into account.
We want to see the HSG increased.
When does the Welsh Government make their decision?
The Welsh Government are producing their draft budget as we speak, which will be published on the 19th December. Before then, we have a chance to make our voices heard locally and nationally.
We know that politicians in Wales have some almost impossible decisions to make, and that circumstances elsewhere in the wider UK Government are only making that task harder. No politician in Wales wants to be making these cuts.
But we also feel that not safeguarding the HSG will be leaving people living with homelessness behind – people who are already at an extremely difficult point in their lives. They should not be asked to shoulder the weight of funding cuts.
What will happen if the HSG is cut?
We know from our own services, and from talking to service colleagues across the Welsh third sector, that the consequences will be dire.
Homelessness and housing services are already struggling. If the HSG is cut, many homelessness services will close, leaving people without support. If the HSG is cut, more people in Wales will face homelessness and other public services may become overwhelmed. We can’t put it any plainer than that.
What is Platfform doing about this?
We are joining forces with Cymorth Cymru, and other providers, to argue hard for change and to campaign for increased funding.
What can I do to help?
Consider sending your area’s Senedd Member (MS) a respectful e-mail, explaining that you feel that Wales cannot afford to leave people living with homelessness behind by cutting or reducing the HSG.
You can find out who your MS is here: Find a Member of the Senedd
You can also keep an eye on organisations and services posting on social media using the #HousingMattersWales hashtag, and reshare the messages you see. The more collective attention we can draw to the risks of cutting HSG, the more chance we have of reaching those who have the make the difficult decisions.
(You can find out more about the campaign, and see Cymorth Cymru’s campaign pack, here: Policy & Campaigns – Cymorth Cymru)