Housing First – an innovative approach to homelessness
Housing First, has had considerable success in Canada and America, as well as Denmark, Finland and France – is being rolled out in Luton. Successful pilots are already operating in Newcastle, London, the Midlands and Greater Manchester as well as in Wales and Scotland.
Surveys show the high success rate of this initiative: almost three quarters of those living in Housing First premises in England have been there for a year or more.
NOAH Enterprise has been awarded the Luton Borough Council contract to implement the strategy. Paul Prosser, Head of Welfare Services, explained:
“The overall philosophy is to provide a stable independent home and intensive personal support to homeless people who have multiple and complex needs.
“Housing First sees housing as a basic human right – there are no conditions around ‘housing readiness’ before providing someone with a home. It comes first, as a matter of right, rather than last, or as a reward. In fact, secure housing is viewed as a stable platform from which other issues can be addressed.”
He added: “Not only will homeless people benefit, but so will local authorities, the NHS and police, – from a lessening demand on their services.”
NOAH will provide a comprehensive support service for 20 homeless people who will be carefully selected and allocated individual flat accommodation in Luton. The project will run for two years during which we and Luton Borough Council will demonstrate to Government its success and thereby encourage them to invest in it going forward.
74% of people at five Housing First services in England had been housed for a year or more in 2015 – Pleace and Bretherton, 2015
70-90% of people sustain their accommodation with Housing First in England – Pleace and Bretherton, 2015
“Since I left the hostel, I’m in a good place now. I love it here…I have the grandchildren to stay, and sometimes my daughter…” Housing First client.