Housing First in England: The Principles

This document details the key principles required for designing and delivering Housing First in England.

It is not exhaustive but can be used to start an internal process of reviewing your project. Over the course of the Housing First England project, other guidance will be developed to support you to commission, design and deliver effective Housing First services in line with these principles. This information, when complete, will be published on the Housing First England website.

"If you’ve ever baked a cake and tried to substitute or leave out a particular ingredient you’ll know that when taking it from the oven, it may resemble some kind of cake, but it just won’t look or taste right. The ingredients are all important to ensure success. Leave one out and you won’t get a very good cake.

Housing First is like a cake made up of ingredients, or ‘principles’. Each principle exists for a reason, and together they form a whole, successful service. Leave one out and you’ll get a service which is like Housing First, but that just won’t work as well as it should."

The principles are closely aligned to the USA Pathways principles for Housing First, and those defined and contextualised by the European homeless organisation, FEANTSA, for the use of the approach across Europe.  

The principles for England

  1. People have a right to a home
  2. Flexible support is provided for as long as 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

You can find more information about what the principles mean in practice and how they were developed in the guidance booklet, linked above. 

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