Passive adaptation or active engagement? The challenges of Housing First internationally and in the Italian case

Michele Lancione, Alice Stefanizzi & Marta Gaboardi

In recent years, a peculiar homelessness policy that goes under the
name of ‘Housing First’ has become increasingly popular all over the
world. Epitomising a quintessential case of policy-mobility, Housing
First can today be considered an heterogeneous assemblage of
experiences and approaches that sometimes have little in common
with each other. Introducing and commenting upon this heterogeneity,
the paper critically analyses why and how Housing First has become a
planetary success and what are the issues at stake with its widespread
implementation. If recent scholarship published in this journal has
granted us a fine understanding of Housing First’s functioning in the
US, this paper offers something currently absent from the debate:
a nuanced and critical understanding of the ambiguities related to
the international success of this policy, with specific references to the
challenges associated to its translation in the Italian case.