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Small number of homeless in Swansea ‘prefer’ living under floorboards claims councillor

A SMALL number of people prefer to sleep under floorboards of derelict houses despite being offered support, according to a Swansea councillor.

Cllr Terry Hennegan said he had come across “one or two” people in this situation.

“They want to be left alone,” he said.

“There is not a lot we can do about it – just carry on the hard work we are doing.”

He was speaking in a scrutiny committee meeting in which the council’s response to the coronavirus crisis – including how homeless people have been helped – was discussed.

The council has provided emergency bed and breakfast accommodation for around 70 people, and created capacity for a further nine households at Ty Tom Jones, in the city centre.

Three “isolation properties” are being used for people without full-time accommodation who need to keep apart from others, and 20 long-term homeless people have been identified for accommodation in combination with tailored support.

But council Leader Rob Stewart said there were three to six homeless people who refused emergency help.

“They prefer to stay outside,” he said.

Chief executive Phil Roberts said this situation was reflected in other cities, but that the council would keep trying to help.

The meeting also heard that some asylum seekers have been housed at The Grand Hotel, near Swansea rail station, in recent weeks.

Councillor Peter Jones said many asylum seekers had babies or young children, could not afford to travel, and had little or no money left after paying their rent.

“They are a desperately, desperately needy group” he said.

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