Understanding Housing Delays and Relocations Within the Housing First Model

This study explores factors contributing to delays and relocations during the implementation of the Housing First model in Toronto, Ontario. While interruptions in housing tenure are expected en route to recovery and housing stability, consumer and service provider views on finding and keeping housing remain largely unknown. In-person interviews and focus groups were conducted with 48 study participants, including 23 case managers or housing workers and 25 consumers. The following three factors contributed to housing delays and transfers: (1) the effectiveness of communication and collaboration among consumers and service providers, (2) consumer-driven preferences and ambivalence, and (3) provider prioritization of consumer choice over immediate housing access. Two strategies—targeted communications and consumer engagement in housing searches—supported the housing process. Several factors affect the timing and stability of housing. Communication between and among providers and consumers, and a shared understanding of consumer choice, can further support choice and recovery.

Publication Date: 
In press
Journal Name: 
The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research
Toronto, ON, Canada