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Research from geographers at Cardiff University recommended new legislation to assist all homeless people and to focus on prevention, forming the basis of a new law in Wales: the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.



The research showed that homeless legislation in Wales, largely unchanged since 1977, was no longer fit for purpose as it only required local authorities to assist a minority of homeless people.



In 2011, the Welsh Government commissioned a comprehensive review of Welsh homelessness legislation. The large-scale mixed-methods review engaged widely with the homelessness sector and was the most significant review of Wales’ homelessness legislation in a generation.

The review identified weaknesses in the existing legislation and provided recommendations for a 'Housing Solutions' model, including earlier, prevention-focused services and key policy principles



The ‘Housing Solutions’ model informed the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. The Welsh Government described this act as “the most fundamental reform to homelessness legislation in over 30 years”.

Welsh Government statistics show that, since the new law commenced, more than 36,000 households have been assisted before becoming homeless. The research has informed new homelessness legislation in England and policy debates in Scotland, Canada, and Australia.


More information 

Institution: Cardiff University 

Researcher: Dr Peter Mackie 

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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) (2023) . Homelessness: Shaping legislation in England and Wales, and informing international policy debates Available at  Last accessed on: <date>