Homelessness Prevention and the Welsh Legal Duty: Lessons for International Policies

The paradigm shift in international homelessness policies towards a prevention focus has resulted in proven benefits to society and most importantly to individuals at risk of homelessness. Across the developed world, homelessness prevention is being pursued with vigour alongside existing homelessness interventions and yet there has been no pause for a systematic evaluation of how prevention fits alongside existing systems. Wales provides the first case where homelessness services have been systematically reviewed since the prevention turn. This paper critically examines the implementation of homelessness prevention in Wales, identifying how deficiencies echo emerging global concerns about the prevention turn. Drawing upon evidence gathered during a review of homelessness legislation in Wales, the paper examines the extent to which emerging proposals for legislative change will overcome problems with prevention. The emerging Welsh homelessness prevention and alleviation duty is seen as a desirable and replicable model of prevention, albeit it offers no panacea to the social tragedy of homelessness.

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
Housing Studies