Housing First England – the year ahead

Tuesday, 22 March 2016 - 10:32am

A look at our plans for the first year of Housing First England - what we’ll be doing and how you can get involved.

In the last three months I’ve been up and down the country talking to current commissioners and providers of Housing First.  Changing Lives in Newcastle, Camden Council and Voices of Stoke are among the organisations I’ve visited to learn more about this approach.  The services are varied, using a range of funding and accommodation sources, but all are delivered through innovative, dedicated and flexible working from those involved.

We will bring this and other learning together into a range of resources on a dedicated Homeless England website, but in the meantime let’s look at what is happening in the year ahead.

Growing the Housing First England movement

Knowing more about what’s out there

If you’re registered on the Housing First England mailing list, we’ll be in touch soon to invite you to take part in a survey.

We want to understand the number and nature of Housing First projects that are up and running in England already, or currently in the design stage.  We’d like to find out how services are funded, the types of accommodation used and the client groups being supported.  We would also like to hear your thoughts about any particular information or support you need to deliver Housing First effectively across the country.

A definition of Housing First we can all sign up to

We’re working with the University of York to develop a fidelity assessment.  Providers can use this assessment to ensure they are adhering to the principles of Housing First and will hopefully be a useful tool for designing and improving your Housing First project.

Voices of experience

One of the key aspects of the project is for those who have been accommodated through Housing First to inform the work we, our members and stakeholders are doing. 

In the months ahead, we will recruit client ambassadors to the project, enabling them to share their good and bad experiences and providing them with support and training to promote and share those experiences with a wider audience.

Keeping in touch

We’ll continue to update you via blogs and newsletters, and in time we’ll support you to set up local networks to share good practice and promote Housing First.

To make sure you don’t miss anything, please sign up to our mailing list today.

Dates for your diary

At our Annual Conference in July we will showcase some of the good practice we’ve been learning about over the past few months.  We’ll also be running a free webinar to look in more detail at the fidelity assessment, different funding models and how to effectively support Housing First residents.

In September, we are running three events across England to give you a chance to learn more about Housing First and meet others in the Housing First England movement.  Keep an eye out over the summer for information about these free events and how to book your place.

We hope to have the Housing First England website up and running by October.  We’ll use it to share practical information, case studies and other resources for commissioners and service providers.

Where next?

With Housing First high on the agenda following the Budget last week in which we heard that new investment will be targeted at this approach, we hope you'll continue to stay in touch with us as we grow the project over the coming months. Your collective experience, expertise and commitment will be key to helping us prove the Housing First model can be a success in the future.

We believe the Housing First approach can make a real difference in the way we tackle homelessness – we hope you’ll want to be part of it.

Sign up to our mailing list now

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Jo Prestidge

Innovation and good practice project manager

Jo is an innovation and good practice project manager, leading a range of projects and training including Housing First England and Trauma Informed Care.