Housing First in England - an evaluation of nine services

An observational study of Housing First services in England, demonstrating high levels of success in reducing the long-term and repeated homelessness associated with very high support needs. 

Key with red house shaped keyring

Housing First is designed to provide open-ended support to long-term and recurrently homeless people who have high support needs. Unlike many homelessness services, Housing First provides long-term or permanent support to people with on-going needs. Visit the Housing First England website for more information.

Nine services were evaluated in this observational study. Data were collected from 60 service users using an anonymised outcomes form, equivalent to 42% of the 143 service users across the nine services. Twenty-three service users agreed to in-depth interviews. Focus groups were held with the staff teams in all nine services, and each service was also asked to complete a ‘common point of comparison’ questionnaire that explored service philosophy and operation.

  • The research is based on 60 people who are homeless and have complex needs and who on average have been homeless for fourteen years.
  • 78% of those people were housed as at December 2014
  • 59 people had been successfully housed for one year or more by five of the Housing First services, equivalent to 74% of the current users of these five services.
  • People also noted improved physical and mental health with 43% of users reporting very bad or bad physical health a year before using Housing First. This figure fell to 28% when people were asked about their current health.
  • 25% of service users reported monthly or more regular contact with family prior to Housing First and this increased to 50% after being in the Housing First programme.

Housing First in England - research downloads

'Housing First' or 'Housing Led'? The current picture of Housing First in England

In 2015 we conducted a comprehensive analysis of the use of Housing First in England. This report provides information on how the approach is being funded and the challenges and opportunities for its use across the country.