Housing First in Austria started off by implementing pilot projects in Austria and Vienna in 2012 exhibiting successful results. Over the next years other cities followed and in 2021 the project “Zuhause ankommen” [“arriving home”] was born which allowed participating NGOs to enhance their Housing First efforts, with some organisations even implementing the principles for the first time.
The FSW (Vienna Social Fund) and the Vienna City Government were convinced in 2010 that “Housing First” can work – the red-green government agreement finally laid down the approach for homelessness assistance. This also laid the foundation for the development of the Housing First pilot projects, which were able to start in 2012.
Neunerhaus in Vienna and VinziDach in Salzburg were among the first organisations to implement Housing First. The results of the pilot study running from 2012-2016 showed a housing stability rate of 96.6%
The Citz of Graz followed 2013 with a Housing First project for Women led by the organisation Jugend am Werk as a response to the overcrowded women’s shelters in the city.
According to a paper commissioned by the Austrian National Platform of Social Services Provided for People affected by Homelessness (BAWO) in 2021, it is suggested that by 2025, homelessness in Austria could be permanently ended by implementing a government-supported Housing First strategy combined with the provision of 25,000 affordable homes.
Based on this the project ‘zuhause ankommen’ started. “Zuhause ankommen” [“arriving home”] is a BAWO project aimed at addressing homelessness in Austria. It focuses on assisting individuals impacted by poverty and homelessness in finding a new place to call home. Through a strong collaboration between the limited-profit housing sector and the social service sector, the project offers accessible and affordable housing along with tailored support based on the principles of Housing First.
The project structure allowed participating NGOs to enhance their Housing First efforts, with some organisations even implementing the principles for the first time.