NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales, has praised a local authority in his Region, for being shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Mr Hamilton, said that he was delighted to see Carmarthenshire County Council receiving recognition, for its approach in tackling homelessness.

He said: “It is great to see the council in the final of the UK Housing Awards for 2018, which showcases the very best the housing sector has to offer.

“These days more than ever, homelessness is a real challenge for local authorities and Carmarthenshire County Council has managed to tackle the issue, by working together with other organisations and agencies.

“I would like to congratulate the council for the way it has approached the issue and wish them luck in the final which is being held in London, on May 2.”

In 2017, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Housing Options Team advised 3,229 households, directly preventing 1,277 households from becoming homeless.

Before a recent review of the service, more than 500 households were determined as statutorily homeless, compared to 135 last year. The housing team decided to tackle the issue, by bringing together a number of external partners to look at the challenge of preventing homelessness, from a customer’s point of view.

They also worked alongside Care and Repair, Shelter, Pobl and The Walich, and also improved relationships with private landlords by developing its own lettings agency, Gosod Syml – Simple Lettings.

A ’hub’ of specialist advisors and partners has also been created to offer in-depth advice and support, to prevent homelessness or find alternative accommodation.

Cllr Linda Davies Evans, executive board member responsible for housing, said that it was encouraging that the housing team’s forward-thinking approach had been recognised nationally.

“I would like to wish them all the best luck in the awards ceremony. The work they are doing is already making a significant difference in improving lives of those in the county,” she said.

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