On 19th December 2023, the Welsh Government has published its Draft Budget for 2024/25.
Key headlines for Cymorth members are:
- The Housing Support Grant remains at £167m – the same as in the indicative budget published in February.
- The Homelessness Prevention Grant is £48m – this is £3m less than in the indicative budget published in February.
- In the Draft Budget documentation, the Housing Support Grant has been merged with the Homelessness Prevention Grant to create a new ‘Homelessness Support & Prevention’ budget line.
- Social Housing funding is £365m – the same as in the indicative budget published in February.
- The VAWDASV budget is at £8m – the same as in the indicative budget published in February.
- The Welsh Government has told us via email that the Draft Budget includes funding to support local authorities to meet the additional costs of introducing the Real Living Wage for care workers. The Minister for Finance and Local Government has confirmed this in a letter to local authorities.
Cymorth Cymru response
The Welsh Government has not increased the Housing Support Grant in the Draft Budget for 2024/25. This is in the context of increased costs and demand for services, and is likely to have a significant impact on services, as outlined in our Housing Matters report.
Cymorth Cymru Director Katie Dalton said:
“As it stands, the draft budget is bad news for homelessness and housing support services across Wales and crucially, the people who need their help.
“We warned the Welsh Government that a failure to increase the Housing Support Grant could have devastating consequences. In this scenario, three quarters of support providers told us they would need to reduce service capacity, with 40% likely to stop delivering services because they do not have sufficient funding to provide safe, high quality support.
“This would be disastrous, at a time when more people than ever are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. In real terms, this critical, preventative grant is £24m less than it was in 2012. Support providers have absorbed cuts for the last decade and have nothing left to give.
“If the Welsh Government wants to end homelessness, it must rethink this budget and give homelessness services the inflationary increase they need. We will continue to make the case for further funding in the final budget over the coming weeks.”