Research & evaluation

Research & evaluation

Browse research from Housing First England, as well as the most recent and relevant studies and service evaluations from other organisations.

Housing First England research

Homeless Link’s Housing First England research programme is designed to learn directly from services about how Housing First is working in England. We are using new evidence gathered to support the development of the sector and help ensure that Housing First is a viable option for all those that need it. Since 2016, we have developed the following new research projects. 

Understanding the models of Housing First in England 

We know that services are finding many different ways of delivering Housing First in their local contexts in accordance with the principles for England, and this research explores this variation more fully. Specifically, we wanted to find out:

  • What are the different ways that services are providing Housing First in England? 
  • What drives the development of different models of Housing First? 
  • How do different models of Housing First affect the service provided?

Key findings from this research - The picture of housing First in England - have now been published below.

The future of commissioning Housing First in England

The research aims to explore how Housing First is being commissioned currently, and to identify future opportunities to diversify the funding of services across England. It will consider the following questions:

  • Who is currently commissioning Housing First services in England? 
  • How appropriate is current funding for Housing First services?
  • What new/alternative commissioning arrangements might work for these services?
  • How can we engage new commissioners in supporting Housing First?

The research is published below.

The cost effectiveness of Housing First

This research by Nicholas Pleace and Joanne Bretherton at The University of York shows that Housing First not only ends homelessness for some of the most disadvantaged people in our society, but it does so in a cost-effective way.

The Implementation of Housing First across England, Wales and Scotland

Joint research with our partners in Housing First England, Crisis, looked at how many people in England, Wales and Scotland could benefit from the Housing First approach. 

Future research: 

The impact of Housing First

We are compiling evaluations and data from services across England, and interviewing Housing First residents and others about how Housing First has affected their lives.

If you would like to know more about this research, please contact Homeless Link's Communications Manager, Helen Harrison.

Key policy reports from England

Housing First Feasibility Study for Liverpool City Region, Commissioned by Crisis, 2017 – The study aimed to test the feasibility of implementing Housing First at scale within the Liverpool City Region (LCR).

Housing First: Housing-led Solutions to Rough Sleeping and Homelessness, Centre for Social Justice, 2017 – This report sets out how the Government could end rough sleeping and chronic homelessness and recommends Housing First as the main area for investment.

We can solve poverty in the UK, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2016 – JRF’s strategy sets out recommendations for how to solve poverty, including scaling up Housing First for homeless people with complex needs.

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