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Housing First; a growing movement in GM and beyond

Housing First isn't new to us here in England but we have seen a boom in the interest and number of services, since the first was established in Camden in 2010, writes Jo Prestidge.

Through our Housing First England programme, we champion Housing First as an approach that should be adopted to meet the needs of individuals whom other services really struggle to engage and support.

Jo Prestidge is Senior Manager of the Housing First England project at Homeless Link.

We do this through various means; from supporting frontline teams and commissioners with resources and information, to undertaking research and calling for national policy change to help ensure this approach is viable in the English context.

To the best of our knowledge, there are at least 50 services across the country that adhere to the key principles for Housing First and our research into the experiences of residents, providers and local communities clearly demonstrates the positive impact of this type of support on those involved.

As I explain in my recent blog, relationships really do sit at the heart of Housing First. 

The three MHCLG funded regional pilots in Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region and the West Midlands, provide us with a valuable, new opportunity to understand how Housing First can be implemented at scale.

Through Homeless Link’s Fidelity Evaluation of these pilots, we are beginning to learn about the challenges faced when delivering Housing First regionally, and are also capturing examples of some of the effective practice that is emerging.

So, while the regional pilots are quite new in the scheme of things, their potential contribution to the future of Housing First in England is significant. Please do take a good look at our website and resources and join the movement by signing up to our newsletter.

There's a lot of commitment and expertise across the country and it's great you're now part of it! 


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