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Housing First

The Housing First approach

The Housing First approach was identified through our desk-top exercise as an innovative approach to addressing these needs, and one that was supported by evidence. The evaluations of the original ‘Pathways’ Housing First project in New York suggests that this approach can deliver towards outcomes in the following key areas: 

  • An effective response to homelessness – for people with complex needs, people who were not engaged with any service and who had previously been unable to access or sustain a tenancy are now housed, and have access to support
  • Homeless prevention - The Pathways Housing First programme sustained an 80% housing retention rate over two years
  • Effective use of resources – Many reports conclude that Housing First is a highly cost-effective approach, which offsets costs via a reduction in clients’ use of expensive emergency services. An evaluation of the Denver Housing First Collaboration in the United States, for example, calculated that total emergency-related costs (such as use of shelters and hospital emergency rooms) declined by 73% per client, in the 24 months of participation, as compared with the previous 24 months


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