Social Impact Award
1 June 2016
Innovative research which dramatically increased the number of homeless people assisted each year in Wales has won a prize for its Social Impact at Cardiff University’s Innovation and Impact Awards 2016.
Work by Dr Peter Mackie, Senior Lecturer in Cardiff’s School of Geography and Planning, led local authorities to change the way homeless people are helped in Wales.
Dr Mackie’s research, funded by Welsh Government, directly informed the Wales Housing Act 2014.
Before the Act, legislation left single people with limited support. Around 3,000 homeless people who sought help were left without accommodation each year in Wales.
The new Act introduced a duty on local authorities to help to prevent homelessness or help to secure accommodation for everyone who is threatened with homelessness or who is homeless.
Welcoming the Award, Dr Mackie said: “Thanks to Welsh Government, the Act has been a significant step forward for Wales in achieving a more socially just approach towards addressing the global issue of homelessness. Welsh Government should be commended for bringing this innovative rights-based legislation forward.”
Geoff Marlow, Senior Homelessness Policy Officer with Welsh Government said: “The Mackie Review is an outstanding example of social innovation. The Review – and the 2014 Act - have significantly changed the way homelessness assistance is delivered in Wales and is impacting on the lives of thousands of homeless people.”
These innovative developments in Wales have also prompted a recent Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry into homelessness services in England, where it looks likely that similar legislative change may take place.
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