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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2011): Homelessness - overseas

Housing First: considering components for successful resettlement of homeless people with multiple needs

C.M. Nicholls and I. Atherton

Housing Studies, vol.26, 2011, p. 767-777

The Housing First approach pioneered in the USA involves providing homeless people with multiple needs (such as substance misuse or mental ill health) with a permanent mainstream tenancy immediately upon enrolment in a programme. Once in housing, holistic support in dealing with other issues is assertively provided. In contrast, the traditional treatment first approach requires homeless individuals to make progress in addressing issues such as substance misuse before they are placed in permanent housing. The evidence from evaluations of the Housing First approach suggests that people with multiple needs can maintain a tenancy if given flexible support, whatever difficulties they manifest.

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