Housing First

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 16th September 2021.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Housing First pilot programme; and whether his Department has plans to support wider roll out of that pilot.

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Housing First has an impressive international record in helping people with complex needs to recover and stay off the streets for good, which is why we awarded £28 million to pilot it in three areas (the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region).

We also commissioned a consortium, led by ICF, to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the pilot programme.

The overall evaluation programme includes a process evaluation, quantitative assessment of client outcomes, a cost-benefit analysis, and a programme of assessments, undertaken by Homeless Link, to review each Pilot's fidelity with the seven Housing First principles developed by Housing First England for the England context.

Four reports have been published. The first interim process report centred on pilot development, preparation and early delivery, and provides learning and recommendations at both the central and local level. The second report focuses on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the pilots and service users. The Mobilising Housing First toolkit provides information for those looking to implement Housing First and includes examples of good practice in the pilot areas. The most recent interim report (published July 2021) builds on the first interim report and focuses on the embedding of the pilot approaches in each area and the resulting key learning. The reports are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/housing-first-pilot-national-evaluation-reports

We recognise that rough sleeping is a nationwide challenge, and that is why it is important that we consider the findings of our evaluation, together with our experiences from the three pilots, to ensure that we know how it could work best on a larger scale.

The Government committed to expanding Housing First in its latest manifesto and we will use the findings of our evaluation, together with our experiences from the three pilots, to inform next steps.

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