About Housing First

About Housing First

Housing First and its impact

Housing First England (subtitled)


Housing First ends homelessless for 70-90% of people, according to evidence from across the world.

What is Housing First?

Housing First is a housing and support approach which:

  • Gives people who have experienced homelessness and chronic health and social care needs a stable home from which to rebuild their lives.
  • Provides intensive, person-centred, holistic support that is open-ended.
  • Places no conditions on individuals; however, they should desire to have a tenancy.

The Housing First approach was first developed in New York by Pathways to Housing in 1992. It has since been widely adopted in the USA and become central to the national homelessness strategies in Canada, Denmark, Finland and France, demonstrating widespread success.

In England, since 2010, a growing number of local areas have established Housing First services to meet and identified need. To be successful, services must follow the Principles of Housing First.


The approach leads to improvements in health and wellbeing and reduces ineffective contact with costly public services.

  • Housing First England's policy paper


    Homeless Link is calling on local and national policy makers to work with us to ensure the necessary support funding, access to housing, and co-ordinated service responses are in place to make Housing First a successful intervention.


    Making Housing First Effective.pdf | 220K

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