An online event for local authorities and partners on Thursday 25 November will set out plans for a new ‘Check Up’ process that will support the rollout of Housing First in Scotland. Activity will be co-ordinated by a nationwide policy and practice network supported by a strategic partnership between Homeless Network Scotland and the Scottish Government.
Housing First provides ordinary, settled housing as a first response for people whose homelessness is made harder by experiences such as trauma, addiction and mental ill health.Scotland is the first part of the UK to move ahead with a national rollout, with local authorities at the spearhead of this transformation.
Branching Out, The National Framework for organisations and sectors starting up or scaling up Housing First in Scotland, has been updated ahead of the webinar to reflect the latest research and data.
Maggie Brünjes, Chief Executive of Homeless Network Scotland, said:
“The Scottish Government has committed to scale up Housing First and all councils in Scotland have local plans on how Housing First will be implemented in their area.
“However, there’s doing something and there’s doing the right thing, at the right time and in the right place. We know that local authorities are naturally reflective and already committed to the Housing First approach. The new annual check-up process builds on this strong foundation with additional support and advice, safeguarding the elements that make Housing First work.”
Updates to the 100-page National Framework, endorsed by the Scottish Government, SFHA, CIH and Wheatley Group among others, link into the Prevention Review Group report, Shared Spaces research into shared and supported accommodation and the Housing First Interim Evaluation Report delivered by I-SPHERE at Heriot-Watt University. The Framework is a ‘how to and why’ guide to planning, commissioning and delivering the approach locally and nationally covering community justice, housing and social care issues as well as local and national government.
Growing evidence from across Scotland and the rest of the UK supports the delivery of Housing First for specific groups in addition to the wider group of people with the sharpest experiences of homelessness. For example, the Rock Trust and Almond Housing Association have tested Housing First for young people leaving care in West Lothian and their evaluation shows that:
- All but one young person has continued to sustain their tenancy.
- All young people described ways in which their relationship with their Housing First worker had led to positive changes in their life.
- Some young people reported improvements in mental health and satisfaction with life, healthy eating and exercise, and some reported fewer problems as a result of substance misuse.
The Housing First Check Up webinar for Local Authorities and Partners takes place on Thursday 25 November 2021 from 10am to 12.00pm on the MS Teams platform. The event will be hosted by Sir Andrew Cubie and Marion Gibbs, Team Leader – Homelessness, with the Scottish Government. Book a place here.