Homeless Link

Funding at a glance

Programme: Nurturing Ideas to Change the Housing System
Amount: £225,000 grant
Approved: 2018
Timescale: Five years
Status: Funding in progress
Phase: Decent Affordable Homes Phase Two

To scale up the adoption of the Housing First model.

Why we are funding this project

The long term aim of the project is to create system change so that all homeless people in England with complex needs have Housing First services available to them.
To achieve this, the project has three main outcomes:

  1. Increase the number and effectiveness of Housing First services developed and delivered
  2. Increase the evidence-base to support the case for Housing First
  3. Increase interest in, and commitment to, Housing First among providers, commissioners, and policymakers.

Strategic purpose

That promising ideas are implemented at a local, regional and national level.

Project description

Housing First is an alternative housing model aimed at improving the lives of homeless people with multiple and complex needs. Housing First provides beneficiaries with a home that they can call their own at the very start of flexible, long-term support.

The people supported by Housing First are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. As well as providing a stable home, Housing First addresses complex needs and circumstances, but housing is not a condition of engaging with the support.

The Housing First philosophy opposes the traditional approach to tackling homelessness, whereby people are progressed through a series of temporary accommodation services and support, until they can then access a tenancy.

The Housing First model has already been carefully designed and tested, resulting in much international evidence, proving strong and consistent outcomes for tenancy sustainment and cost effectiveness, compared to the traditional approach.

Appetite for and interest in the Housing First model is high. In England, the government has committed to fund three regional housing first pilots. Meanwhile, 500 frontline homeless charities have registered interest with Homeless Link that they either want to start using the model or improve how they are carrying it out.

Using funding from the Nationwide Foundation, Homeless Link will support organisations across England to deliver the Housing First model. Key to this work will be:

  1. Ensure fidelity to the model: Homeless Link has identified that there are many organisations that believe they are delivering Housing First, but which are not being true to the principles and specifics of the model. Homeless Link will strengthen and support these organisations so that they are able to understand and apply the approach correctly.
  2. Extend the reach: Homeless Link will target the regional areas that are less engaged with or have no provision for Housing First, developing more frontline services.
  3. Influence national and local funding: By disseminating the learning from this project, Homeless Link will increase cross-sector funding and support for Housing First, as well as continuing to campaign for more national funding from central government.
  4. Target provision to those most in need: Homeless Link will ensure that Housing First continues to support and prioritise the most vulnerable homeless people.

Homeless Link has also received funding from Comic Relief and Crisis for this project.

Homeless Link

Back to funding 2016–present