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Issue 105: January 2017

The granting of Royal Assent for the first-ever Welsh Housing Act 
in September 2014 was a historic moment for all kinds of reasons but in some ways that was the easy bit. Implementation was always likely to prove a tricky task and this issue of WHQ reflects on progress so far.

The early signs are certainly positive on the provisions on homelessness prevention, which came into force 
in April 2015. Our The Act in Action special feature in this issue looks a little deeper and a little wider at the impact with findings from the first research to ask homeless people themselves what they think of the new system and a report on growing interest in the Welsh Way in the rest of the UK.

It’s still very early days for a more contentious part of the Act: registration and licensing in the private rented sector. The deadline for registration with Rent Smart Wales was at the end of November 2016 and key questions remain about the register and about enforcement against landlords and agents that have failed to comply. The feature includes contrasting perspectives from Rent Smart Wales itself plus landlords and tenants and a report on the first legal case involving the new system.

In another option for the future
 of homelessness policy, the Housing First approach began in the United States but is already taking hold across Europe. Tamsin Stirling reflects on a CIH trip to see it in action in Lille in France while Matt Kennedy looks at the successful system in Finland.

Other highlights of this issue include reports by Sharon Lee on the contribution that churches in Wales can make to housing and tackling homelessness, by Paul Diggory on housing preparations in Holyhead for Anglesey’s huge Energy Island programme and by Ken Gibb on the latest developments in housing policy in Scotland.

We also have articles from Monmouthshire on a new approach 
to new homes and Gwynedd on the impact of stock transfer and an update on the latest progress in collaborative working between health and housing.

Last, but by no means least, the end of 2016 was housing awards season. This issue includes a special feature on the winners in the Welsh Housing Awards and also covers the Promoting Independence Awards.

Best wishes for a productive 2017. The next issue of WHQ will be published in April.

Jules Birch

Editor, WHQ

This issue of WHQ is kindly sponsored by Newport City Homes

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