House of Commons briefing paper: Housing First – Tackling Homelessness for Those with Complex Needs

The number of rough sleepers has increased by 169% from 1,768 in 2010 to 4,751 in 2017.

The July 2018 House of Commons Library paper on Housing First (HF) – an intervention strategy aimed at people with complex needs – describes the principles and evidence behind it.

Advocates of HF support the early provision of permanent housing which provides a stable home from which it is easier to deal with other underlying issues, such as substance abuse.

However, there is also debate about several aspects of the HF model including:

  • Unfair depictions of traditional approaches which use, especially in the UK, many of the ideas behind Housing First.
  • Questions about the cost-effectiveness of a Housing First programme when compared to other models.
  • Difficulties in providing open-ended funding, finding accommodation and employing sufficient support staff.
  • Housing First’s ability to improve other outcomes, such as health, offending rates, substance abuse and so forth.

Find out more about the briefing paper.