THE coronavirus pandemic has led to a 77 per cent increase in homelessness due to family and relationship breakdowns in Torfaen compared with last year.

Torfaen County Borough Council said that between April and September there were 94 applications for assistance where an individual was homeless and in need of accommodation due to a relationship breakdown. Between April and September 2019 this number was at 53.

Neither of these figures include the requests from people who were at risk of homelessness.


Torfaen council figures show that there has been a 32 per cent increase in the total number of applications for homeless individuals compared with the same period last year.

Between April and September 2020, the council received 176 applications for accommodation, where 139 were single people.

The same period a year earlier saw 133 applications for accommodation with 88 of these being for single people.

Homeless and rough sleeping charity, The Wallich, said they’ve also seen an increase in people at their drop-in service in Pontypool because of family breakdowns.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Traditionally we think of family breakdown as conflict between two partners or marriage breakdown. In the current situation, we are seeing more young people who have been asked to leave the family home due to a relationship breakdown with their parents.

“With more people under 35 presenting as homeless and quickly going into temporary accommodation, we could face a challenge moving people on further down the line into suitable, affordable and more permanent housing. Therefore, we must focus on prevention.

“With many families spending more time together due to Coronavirus restrictions, it’s unsurprising that many homes are coming to a boiling point.

“For any family facing a similar breakdown in relationship, we encourage you to seek mediation as soon as possible; this could be professional mediation or asking an unbiased third party, such as a family friend, to sit in on discussions.

“Mediation helps to repair relationships, resolve ongoing issues and prevent homelessness. At The Wallich, our drop-in centre and phoneline in Torfaen are also available to provide advice on support for people at risk of homelessness.”