HOUSE sharing could be used to help address the rise in demand of accommodation for single tenants in Caerphilly, according to a council report.

Members of Caerphilly County Borough Council’s policy and resources scrutiny committee will note a report into the authority’s homelessness strategy and action plan on Tuesday, May 29.

The plan will feed into a regional strategy with the former Gwent councils for a four-year homelessness plan as required by the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

The report, written by principal housing officer Sue Cousins, says the number of applications from single persons on the housing register rose by more than 400 in 12 months.

“The general social housing demand is increasing as reflected by the single person applicant numbers recorded on our housing register: up from 1,755 – 48.55 per cent – of all applications in January 2017 to 2,187 – 49.85 per cent – in January 2018,” it says.

“To access private rental properties, the only affordable and potentially sustainable housing solution for many single people in the Caerphilly borough is to share their housing costs with others,” added Ms Cousins.

“Whilst house sharing in city-based authorities and areas with university and college accommodation is accepted as normal, people do not aspire to share housing as a solution to their needs.

“As noted in the Wales Audit Report, single people account for half of all homelessness applications across Wales, and in Caerphilly this is no different.”

In terms of available housing, the report highlights that Caerphilly’s stock is more equipped for families rather than single person occupancy.

The report also looks into the number of recorded applications to the council for housing and homelessness advice and assistance.

Although the numbers of rough sleepers in Caerphilly is low, with only one reported in 2017/2018, there is a rise in the number of households facing homelessness typically due to rental arrears.

“In 2017/18, 2,224 households approached the council for housing advice and assistance due to the threat of homelessness, which is a threefold increase on the number of presentations received in 2015/16,” said the principal housing officer.

“A breakdown of these presentations shows that single males: 37 per cent, female single parent families: 23 per cent and single females: 20 per cent accounted for 80 per cent of all cases.”

As detailed in the report, the number of households requiring advice or assistance with regard to homelessness has increased by 72 per cent in the past 12 months in Caerphilly, rising from 1,294 in 2016/17, to 2,224 in 2017/18.