Denmark was one of the first European countries to adopt the Housing First approach, following the lead of Finland. From 2009 to 2013, Denmark made Housing First the guiding principle of its national homelessness strategy. The Danish homelessness strategy included Housing First as a significant element, which has remained one of the largest programs of its kind in Europe
Denmark’s Housing First approach to addressing homelessness stands out as it is involving over a thousand individuals. This strategy is distinguished by its collaborative nature, with strong cooperation between local municipalities and national policymakers. Out of the 98 municipalities in Denmark, seventeen have actively participated in implementing the Strategy, representing approximately two-thirds of the homeless population.
The first national Homelessness Strategy was adopted in Denmark in 2008 and 500m DKK were provided for the implementation of this strategy for four years. The main objective of the program was to create and evaluate evidence-based interventions in homelessness, including Housing First, on a national scale, with Copenhagen, Odense and Aarhus chosen as the designated testing locations in Denmark.
The results of this strategy implementation show that implementing evidence-based support interventions is a successful method for helping individuals with complex support needs to escape homelessness and maintain stable housing. The housing retention rates exceeded 90 percent, indicating the effectiveness of this approach.