A strong argument for putting Housing First

The Making Every Adult Matter coalition (Clinks, Homeless Link and Mind) has responded to Housing First: housing-led solutions to rough sleeping and homelessness, a new report from the Centre for Social Justice.

As a key contributor to this report, we welcome its publication and recommendations. A range of responses are needed to end homelessness and Housing First has a vital role to play. A successful Housing First model depends on having coordinated, cross-sector support in place for the range of multiple needs that people experience.

Housing First England

We welcome the report’s recommendation for a cross-government strategy on homelessness involving key departments such as the Department for Work and Pensions, Ministry of Justice and the Department of Health. At the report’s launch in Westminster today, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid MP said action was needed across government to tackle the social problems that accompany homelessness.

The report recognises the specific support needs of the 58,000 people with multiple and complex needs in England, and it’s positive that local areas using the MEAM Approach to design and deliver better coordinated support for people with multiple needs are featured.

The report rightly notes that helping people into employment is an important long-term goal for Housing First, but the priority should be to help people turn their lives around. The case studies in the report are succeeding because they are able to help people manage their needs. Giving someone a home to call their own, and the co-ordinated, flexible support that helps them to keep it allows them to engage positively with health, care and support services where they were previously unable to do so.

We look forward to working with our partners to promote the messages in this report, and Homeless Link’s Housing First England project will continue to support the adoption of high-quality Housing First approaches across the country.