A beginner’s guide to the Housing First model at National Housing Group

A beginner’s guide to the Housing First model at National Housing Group

What is Housing First?

Housing First is an approach which has shown to be highly effective at ending homelessness for people with multiple and complex needs. 

The focus of Housing First is to provide a stable and secure home for people within the homeless community with complex needs. It has been specifically developed to support homeless people into long term housing. 

The belief is that people need basic necessities (such as food and a place to live) before being able to concentrate on other less critical needs, including getting a job, budgeting, or controlling addictive behaviours.

Ultimately, Housing First should:

  • Be provided to those with complex needs and a history of homelessness, or those who could be at significant risk of experiencing repeat homelessness
  • Provide independent and secure housing to people holding their own tenancy
  • Provide intensive, person-centred and holistic support

Why Housing First?

Many housing and homelessness charities are calling on the Government to provide funding for specialist support to help people into safe, secure homes, supporting the goal of ending rough sleeping by 2024. Right now, there just aren’t enough Housing First programmes across the UK to help everyone who needs this level of support. The benefits are being proven though, with the approach leading to improvements in health and wellbeing and a reduction of ineffective contact with costly public services.

Our mission at National Housing Group is to provide those that are vulnerable to homelessness, or those that are homeless, with comfortable, affordable and safe homes. The Housing First model complements our mission perfectly and we are proud to be working together with our partners to ensure Housing First is delivered consistently across our local and regional communities.

So how do we do this?

The Housing First principles

Those that follow the Housing First model will use a set of principles to guide them. These principles require a change in the attitude, culture and approach of everyone we work with, to ensure effective delivery. These principles are:

  1. People have a right to a home
  2. Flexible support is provided for as long as it is needed
  3. Housing and support are separated
  4. Individuals have choice and control
  5. An active engagement approach is used
  6. The service is based on people’s strengths, goals and aspirations
  7. A harm reduction approach is used

How does the National Housing Group follow these principles?

We live by three underlying values: 

  • Community
  • Investment
  • Environment

Through acquiring and developing properties in local communities, we are able to address the lack of high quality, suitable housing quickly and with permanent solutions. We believe that people have a right to a home, and one that is of high quality. By working with our partners we offer homes to people in need and go above and beyond the industry standards.

Our Green Home Initiative ensures we go one step further to look after our communities. By limiting the reliance on fossil fuels and reducing fuel poverty, we develop properties in a sustainable and eco-friendly way, right from the beginning and throughout the process.

We recognise that there is a shortage of social housing, and what is available is not of great quality. We strive to combat this issue and improve standards of living wherever we can. We have already seen improvements to people’s mental and physical wellbeing and an eagerness to take control of their own tenancy.

At National Housing Group, we will continue to encourage the Government to take action and increase social housing available to help fight against the housing crisis and homelessness. Using the Housing First model will continue to support how we work with our partners to deliver quality housing to vulnerable people as quickly as possible.