Press release from Visit Wales
We are making an urgent appeal for holiday accommodation providers to help by making accommodation available for vulnerable people.
During the national lockdown, and since, we have seen some incredible work across Wales to ensure that no one was without a safe place and support during these difficult times. Thank you very much to those of you who have and are supporting us in this work.
Welsh Government guidance remains unchanged; everyone should have accommodation, which enables them to follow public health guidance on social distancing, hygiene and to self-isolate if necessary. However, we know that housing services are under severe pressure. In some areas, emergency accommodation is already at capacity and winter pressures are starting to mount. The Coronavirus fire break lockdown will exacerbate the challenges of securing additional accommodation and potentially increase presentations.
We are therefore asking accommodation businesses across Wales whether they can assist Local Authorities in providing high quality emergency provision both during this Coronavirus fire break lockdown and beyond. Some businesses are already providing accommodation for Key Workers and vulnerable groups, which is hugely appreciated. However, the current challenge is to secure sufficient accommodation for vulnerable groups, many of whom will have been displaced as a result of the pandemic – this includes those that are homeless and threatened with homelessness, such as people who are no longer able to stay with family or friends, or individuals whose relationships have broken down.
The Regulations in place to close businesses mean that there is empty visitor accommodation of all types across Wales. Those same Regulations enable Local Authorities or Welsh Ministers to request businesses re-open in order to provide safe accommodation for vulnerable people, whilst also accessing support via the Job Support Scheme and Welsh Government’s Lockdown fund.
Further funding is available to support Local Authorities and Health Boards to secure this vital accommodation and to provide the requisite support staff to ensure these vulnerable individuals receive the appropriate wrap around support to address their needs.
If supporting this work Businesses will therefore:
- Enter a contract with their Local Authority - for the direct costs involved.
- Be eligible to access business support subject to eligibility, including the Job Support Scheme (JSS.) and Welsh Government’s lockdown Business Fund – (dependant on the rateable value this could be £1,000 or £5,000.)
If you can help, please contact your Local Authority (LA) where we have provided a contact name and email address and copy in firstname.lastname@example.org . For those Local Authority areas without a nominated contact email address please contact Welsh Government email@example.com and we will collate the information and provide it to your respective LA in order for contact to be made.
- Please provide details of the accommodation, which you could offer to house vulnerable people. We will require details of the number of rooms or units, type, location and how long you anticipate it will be available for.
- Please provide a named contact in your business and a contact address email and telephone number.
While there is a need across Wales, there is an especially urgent need for accommodation in the following areas and where available, have provided the LA contact email in these areas for you to contact them direct.
- Neath Port Talbot - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pembrokeshire - Claire.Hitchings@pembrokeshire.gov.uk
- Wrexham - Tracy.Hague@wrexham.gov.uk
- Torfaen - email@example.com
- Monmouthshire - JaneOates@monmouthshire.gov.uk
- Newport - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Merthyr - email@example.com
- Caerphilly - CLAPHL@CAERPHILLY.GOV.UK
Thank you again to those businesses that provided us with support earlier this year - we hope to secure the help of this industry once again for this important initiative.