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Morning session

Exhibition, refreshments and networking

Conference Chair: Cllr Andrea Lewis, Welsh Local Government Association Housing Spokesperson

Ruth Power, CEO Shelter Cymru

Launch of Shelter Cymru’s new report, ‘Reframing Antisocial Behaviour’, which calls for a trauma-informed approach to preventing homelessness due to behaviours deemed antisocial.
Speakers: Jennie Bibbings and Jonathan Clode, Shelter Cymru

Panel members: Sarah Scire, Platfform; Natalie Taylor, Valleys to Coast Housing; Julia Houlston Clark, from Restorative Wales; Supt Tony Williams from South Wales Police

1. Policy Stream: ‘Impossible to navigate’: Youth homelessness through the lens of neurodiversity.

Speakers: Monika Conti, End Youth Homelessness Cymru; others TBC

For the past year and a half, EYHC has been working on a research project exploring youth homelessness through the lens of neurodiversity. The conversations they’ve had with practitioners and young people have enabled them to find out about neurodivergent young people’s experiences of becoming homeless, the barriers to accessing support, and solutions to improving our youth systems.

In this interactive workshop you can find out about the research and learn from a diverse panel about practical solutions.


2. Practice Stream: My Home Denbighshire: Local collaboration for early prevention.

Speakers: Nickkie Taylor, Shelter Cymru; Shannon Richardson and Hayley Jones, Denbighshire Council

My Home Denbighshire is an early intervention project which aims to work upstream offering support and guidance to anyone in Denbighshire who might be facing difficulties relating to their home. This workshop will explore the challenges and benefits of building local collaborative approaches to prevent people becoming homeless at an early stage.


3. Activist Stream : How people experiencing homelessness can have a voice in solutions: Community-led housing in a housing crisis.

Speakers: Casey Edwards and Kathryn Griffiths, Cwmpas

Community-led housing can offer a way for people experiencing homelessness to have a say and stake in their housing situation. Across the UK several initiatives are working with and empowering people experiencing homelessness to have a voice in the development of affordable housing projects that meet their needs. What all these projects have in common is a locally rooted, community-based organisation that can support people experiencing homelessness but also empower and involve them in the delivery of affordable housing.

In Wales, Cwmpas’ Communities Creating Homes programme is supporting several social enterprises to replicate these models. This workshop will hear about a number of emerging good practice projects across Wales.

Sponsored lunchtime session: Wales & West Utilities – Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance

Afternoon session

1. Policy Stream: Reimagining allocations to support rapid rehousing: an interactive workshop (In-Person Only)

Facilitator: Wendy Dearden, Shelter Cymru

Deciding who is given (or allocated) a home goes right to the heart of debates about the purpose of social housing. It begs the question ‘who is social housing for’? We all need somewhere to live, but how do we define need and how do we decide that one person’s need is a higher priority than someone else’s? And what about the crucial question of choice?

This interaction session will deliberate these questions and more, in order to inform current research. Your views will contribute to a piece of work that aims to influence the Welsh Government’s approach to allocations.



2. Practice Stream: Preventing homelessness and the Renting Homes (Wales) Act

Speakers: Mark Hodges and Ceri Murphy, Shelter Cymru

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 has had a broad and complex effect on the way that people experience renting in Wales; whether as a landlord, a contract holder or the local authority staff who have a duty to help when things go wrong.

This workshop will take a closer look at the verification of section 173 notices, a homelessness prevention tool that not enough people are aware of. You will learn how to navigate the complex issue of what makes these notices valid, and what recourse is available where errors are found.


3. ACTIVIST STREAM: Private renters achieving change: lessons from tenants’ unions in Wales and Scotland

Speakers: Chair: Steffan Evans, Bevan Foundation; Dylan Lewis-Rowlands, Renters Reform Coalition Cymru; Sinead McNulty, Living Rent Scotland; Sam Coates, ACORN

With no-fault evictions and private rents at historically high levels, it is vital that tenants are heard. A long-standing lack of tenant representation is beginning to change in Wales as tenants’ unions emerge locally, and begin to organise nationally. This workshop is a conversation between Scottish and Welsh tenant activists, each sharing lessons about influencing change, and thoughts on the way forward.

Speaker: Freek Spinnewijn, Director, FEANTSA

Countries across Europe are facing enormous challenges with homelessness, the cost of living, and the rising cost of housing. In a post-Brexit world it is vital that we continue to learn from overseas. Freek will share how European nations are planning strategically to end homelessness.

Speaker: Juha Kahila, Head of International Affairs, Y-Foundation

Finland has long been the model for putting Housing First into practice, and remains the only European country where homelessness is falling. There has been much learning, and Finland has now launched ‘Housing First 2.0’, a new implementation plan. Juha Kahila is joining us in Swansea to share how Finland is revising and refreshing the Housing First model.

Speaker: Elisabeth Hammer, Neunerhaus

Elisabeth Hammer is the MD of Neunerhaus, an organisation providing support for people experiencing homelessness in Vienna, and chair of BAWO, the umbrella organisation for the homelessness sector in Austria. Elisabeth is also the author of Look Instead of Looking Away: How a Society Without Homelessness is Possible. We’re delighted to have Elisabeth joining us virtually from Vienna, where she will be outlining how a vision and broad commitment to ending homelessness can be created.

Mike Theodoulou, Chair, Shelter Cymru

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