The APPG for Ending Homelessness' inquiry into Housing First: call for written evidence

Dates of submission: 5th October – 31st January 2021

appg@crisis.org.uk and emily.batchelor@crisis.org.uk

APPG for Ending Homelessness’ inquiry into Housing First: call for written evidence

For its fifth year the APPG for Ending Homelessness is holding an inquiry into Housing First, focusing on how it can be scaled up in England as part of a sustainable solution to homelessness.

Housing First is an internationally recognised method of ending homelessness for people with ​multiple and interlocking needs, such as trauma, mental health needs, addiction or entrenched street homelessness. It has become a key part of the response to homelessness across the world, ​and is being piloted in England.   

This inquiry will be held ​at a time when the importance of a safe and secure home has been thrown into sharp focus with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and ​following the Westminster Government's commitment to ​expand Housing First provision across England.  

It will explore how Housing First can be a sustainable solution to homelessness in England and how its philosophy can influence the Government’s wider approach to tackling homelessness. The inquiry wants to hear from national, regional and local organisations responsible for the delivery of Housing First services, and from people who have experience of homelessness.

There is a call for written evidence on the themes we are examining in the inquiry sessions.

We are particularly keen for organisations to submit written evidence which includes the personal testimony and experiences of clients who have direct experiences of Housing First services. Please indicate whether individuals quoted in the submission have given permission to be named or whether they should be reported anonymously.

Please submit evidence on any of the following areas:

Lessons and evidence on the success of Housing First across the UK and the world

  1. What examples of best practice of Housing First services are there at a local or regional level in England?
  2. What evidence is there to demonstrate the positive impact of Housing First on ending a person’s homelessness in the long-term? What groups has it been shown to work for and what further changes are needed for it to work for other groups?
  3. What in your view are the lessons to be learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic in tackling the homelessness of people with complex and multiple needs? What role can Housing First play in the Government’s response to the pandemic?
  4. How can Housing First help the Westminster Government deliver its manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping in England by 2024?

Existing policy and practice barriers to scaling up Housing First in England

  1. In your experience, what are the main national policy and practice barriers to successfully operating Housing First at scale?
  2. What changes would be needed to welfare system to support Housing First sustainability?
  3. What is the importance of Housing First for health outcomes? What health policy and practice changes are needed for Housing First to be a success?
  4. What would be the benefits of Housing First being considered a cross/multi-department initiative, under the responsibility of Department of Health and Social Care, and the Department of Work and Pensions as well as Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government? What, if any, benefits would this bring to the delivery of the service at the frontline?
  5. What local barriers exist that stop Housing First being successful? How do these interact with national policies?

The importance of long-term sustainable funding and the commissioning landscape

  1. What issues do current funding arrangements for Housing First schemes create for its implementation and sustainability?
  2. How can funding arrangements support the fidelity of the Housing First model?
  3. What commissioning arrangements have been successful for Housing First in the UK?
  4. Should funding and commissioning arrangements work on a local authority or regional level?

What role does the wider system play in supporting the national roll out of Housing First

  1. What changes are needed to ensure there is a supply of housing to implement Housing First? What challenges and benefit would these changes bring?
  2. How can Housing First be integrated within a wider homelessness strategy at local or regional level?
  3. What wider changes are needed to housing and homelessness policies to be able to implement and sustain Housing First programmes?
  4. How can Housing First form part of a homelessness prevention strategy?

How to submit evidence:

If you would like to make a submission, please email Emily Batchelor at Emily.batchelor@crisis.org.uk and appg@crisis.org.uk with your evidence by 31st January 2021. Please indicate whether the organisations and individuals in the evidence have given permission to be named or whether they should be reported anonymously.