Advocacy

Together with our Partners, the Hub offers tools and information resources which are freely available to anyone trying to make the case for Housing First.

From a feasibility study on how a major city can scale up Housing First as its first approach to tackling homelessness, to a network of motivated Housing First advocates, to training and webinars on Housing First, as well as supporting new thinking around the role of Housing First in local, regional, national and European-level responses to homelessness.

From ‘scaling up’ to systems change

Most recently, the Housing First Europe Hub has been on a journey to understand the limits of simply ‘scaling up’ Housing First, however brilliant those individual programmes continue to be. Our mission is to support organisations and governments to end homelessness by also applying the principles of Housing First to whole systems.

We want to help local and national governments to make the right policy choices, and at EU level there exists a special opportunity to embed this approach within the European Platform to Combat Homelessness.

We also want to challenge and support housing and service providers to make a transition, so that all services are delivered against the principles of Housing First. Human rights, choice and control, and the other tenets of Housing First are directly applicable to every intervention to prevent or tackle homelessness.

A successful transition to this housing-led approach requires a change in culture and thinking: changes in how we work, how we train and support our workforce; changes to funding regimes; changes to the way people access housing; and much more besides. As we have seen in this report, this culture shift can emerge in different places, but the important and unifying factor is that the shift is intentional and sustained over time.

Get involved!

Ending homelessness is totally achievable if we grasp this opportunity to do things differently. People experiencing homelessness deserve nothing less.

We particularly encourage you to read our latest publications on these topics below, which offer practical and pragmatic guides to help you navigate your Housing First and Systems Change journey, no matter where you are starting from.

To find out more about the Hub’s advocacy activities, to get involved, or for more information on any aspect of our advocacy work, please contact: samara.jones@housingfirsteurope.eu

Unlocking Systemic Change with Housing First

A New Systems Change Perspective – Demos Helsinki

This report by Demos Helsinki examines how Housing First holds great potential to enable systems change in homelessness. Grounding the analysis in systems thinking, the work has engaged decision-makers, advocates, experts and practitioners of Housing First through interviews and workshops in search of meaningful ways to ensure the proven success of Housing First can be central to achieving the overall goal of ending homelessness.  

This think piece aims to uncover and illustrate how seeing Housing First through the lens of governance – rather than policy – can provide us with a compass to navigate the complexity of homelessness, and learn how to advance the ambitious goal of eliminating it regardless of the situation and context a country may face. 

Download the report here.

 

Achieving a new systems perspective to ending homelessness through Housing First: A policy and practice guide 


Housing First programmes are one of the most researched social policy interventions of all time, and they are the most effective mechanism for supporting people with complex support needs out of homelessness―the very people who are most likely to sleep rough. But, even as we celebrate our achievement of getting more and more Housing First programmes running all across Europe, we also see the total number of people experiencing homelessness continuing to rise in many countries.
 To achieve our objective of ending homelessness, we need to take a step back and think more deeply about how our Housing First programmes relate to our overall response to housing and homelessness. 

This paper complements the Demos Helsinki framework paper and is designed to share exciting developments and inspire change. Based on interviews with advocates and policy makers across 16 countries, the examples presented in the report bring to life the challenges and opportunities that Housing First can provide and has been delivering so far. Being well aware that we are far from achieving the goal, this report is designed to inspire, encourage continual learning, and drive the change that is needed to end homelessness across Europe. 

Download the policy & practice guide here.


On 28-29 March, 2022, the Housing First Europe Hub’s first international conference was held in Madrid, Spain – “An End to Homelessness: Unlocking Systemic Change with Housing First”.

The event featured active, informal workshops where participants came together to talk about challenges, experiences and best practices with peer organisations and other actors from various local and national contexts in Europe and beyond.

More specifically, four topical workshops explored the following elements of systemic change:

  • Accessing and increasing housing stock
  • How to design and implement a strategy for systemic change
  • Accessing long-term and sufficient funding for Housing First
  • Supporting a transition of the workforce and the shelter sector

For more information about the conference and to read a report of the discussions, please visit the conference page here.


WEBINAR: Let’s keep the good stuff


WEBINAR: Advocating for housing-led solutions after COVID-19

How do you turn emergency policy into long-term systems change?

On Friday 5 June, Matt Downie, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Crisis, and Tim Richter, President & CEO of the Canadian Alliance for Homelessness (CAEH), joined us for an exciting transatlantic discussion, exploring effective ways to advocate for housing-led solutions to homelessness in the wake of  COVID19.

More information

Watch the webinar recording


COVID-19: Developing guidance that’s specific to people who are experiencing homelessness requires some insight into challenges and complexities of being homeless 

Guidance developed on COVID-19 needs to take into account valuable insight from frontline workers, service providers and experts from organisations serving clients experiencing – or who have recently experienced – homelessness, who are faced with a specific set of challenges and complexities. Here you can find some useful information and insights into how to improve decision making and guidelines so that these at-risk and vulernable members of our society are not left out of the practical and policy responses to the COVID-19 crisins


2019 Housing First in Europe: An Overview of Implementation, Strategy, and Fidelity

This overview of the development of Housing First in 19 countries in Europe was designed to take a snapshot of how quickly Housing First is being adopted, the extent to which it is present in local, regional, and national strategies and homelessness programmes, as well as to provide a broad overview of fidelity to the model and the scale of service provision.

Comparative research drew on a standardised questionnaire to homelessness experts and specialists in Housing First in 19 countries. In several instances, the respondents held senior positions in Housing First programmes, including at national level. The countries were Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

The report attempts to capture developments up to the end of 2018 and, to some extent, look forward to commitments entered into at that time.

Read the Report Summary
Download the Full Report


2017 Housing First Feasibility Study for the Liverpool City Region

In cooperation with Hub partner Crisis, and support from other Hub partners (Homeless Link (UK), Turning Point Scotland, Focus Ireland, Husbanken, etc., the Hub conducted a feasibility study on how to move beyond the pilot project phase and make Housing First the mainstream response to homelessness in Liverpool.

The preliminary findings of this study were presented at the FEANTSA policy conference in Gdansk, Poland on 19 May 2017. The full report was published in Liverpool in July 2017.

Read the Executive Summary
Download the Full Report