Hackney Council bids for funding to trial Housing First

Phil Glanville says he would welcome Housing First in Hackney. Picture: Gary Manhine/Hackney Council

Phil Glanville says he would welcome Housing First in Hackney. Picture: Gary Manhine/Hackney Council - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council wants to trial the government’s Housing First programme as it looks for new ways to shrink its 12,600-strong waiting list.

The town hall has applied for funding to try out the scheme on a small number of high-needs health patients.

Housing First works is run on the principle that housing is a basic human right. It works by aiming to house people immediately, whatever their needs, as opposed to the traditional method used in the UK which is to prepare vulnerable people to be housed before offering them a place.

Evidence from Housing First schemes in other countries shows it can help tackle homelessness, and in May housing secretary James Brokenshire announced a £28million programme to trial it in Greater Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands.

It has previously been trialled in Camden and Islington through the Single Homeless Project’s Fulfilling Lives in Islington and Camden lottery funded project.

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Last year the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) called for it to be rolled out nationally, saying it could tackle rough sleeping and homelessness in Britain.

Now, Hackney has applied to the City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for funding through health channels.

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Mayor Phil Glanville told the Gazette: “We first signalled we wanted to do this in the updated homelessness strategy. I think it’s got a really big part to play and I’d welcome it coming to Hackney.”

On where the homes would be, Mr Glanville said he didn’t know yet, but that it would likely involve working with existing specialist housing providers in the borough.

Watchdog Healthwatch Hackney also welcomed the news, saying: “Exciting new initiatives such as the Housing First project are likely to provide help to some of the most vulnerable people in Hackney.”

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