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Tackling Homelessness

Delivering innovative programmes to bring an end to repeat and chronic homelessness and rough sleeping

Woman sipping coffee in new home

What we do

The Liverpool City Region is one of just three areas in the country piloting Housing First specifically targeted at entrenched homelessness and those with complex needs.

The programme offers intensive one-to-one unconditional support based on seven core Housing First principles. Providing a home is the starting point rather than an end goal and people are not expected to demonstrate they are ‘housing ready.’

Individual, targeted support is helping people to deal with mental and physical health issues such as addiction and the effects of trauma and abuse and move forward out of homelessness.

Funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Housing First will continue with £4.2m funding until 2024 and a further £2.6 million earmarked from the Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) taking the programme through to 2025.

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will also receive a further £2m from the RSI for other measures to tackle homelessness. £1.2m will help prevent homelessness through early intervention, and nearly three quarters of a million pounds will fund the assertive outreach programme delivered by homeless charity Whitechapel targeting rough sleepers in the city region.

Housing First Stories

Housing First was developed in New York by Dr Sam Tsemberis in 1992. In the Liverpool City Region we are currently supporting more than 200 people with nearly 80% sustaining their tenancy. Many Housing First service users have personal histories characterised by multiple, long-term and severe trauma.

Of our clients:

  • 95% have mental health needs (196 of all individuals supported)
  • 33% have a physical disability (69 of all individuals supported)
  • 96% have a substance or alcohol dependency (199 of all individuals supported)
  • 86% are ex-offenders (179 of all individuals supported)
Image of Mayor and stakeholders at Housing First presentation

Why is Housing First different?

One of the aims of Housing First is the desire to create systemic change in the homelessness sector. The more people who are open to or adopt a new approach based on our best practice, before long the system itself is changing and consequently the way homeless people are treated. We share our best practice through many forums locally – multi agency partnerships, stakeholder meetings, working groups, communities of practice.

Meet our support workers Sean and Daniel as they describe how working within Housing First is different from other ways of working and how they offer unconditional support to their clients.

terraced housing

Landlords - We need you!

While we work in partnership with a number of housing providers across the Liverpool City Region, we are always searching for prospective properties suitable for our service users waiting for a home. If you’re a Housing Association or even a private landlord, click below to find out more about how we could work together.

Set of keys in hand

Cost Effective

In February 2023, an independent study found that our pilot Housing First programme, one of only three in the country, is saving taxpayers an average £34,500 a year for each person it helps out of homelessness.

Independent consultants Beyond Better monitored 20 service users being supported by the ground-breaking scheme over the course of a year – comparing the cost of the programme to the likely cost to the public purse if they had not received help.

Savings ranged from £27,000 to £66,000 a year which, taking into account Housing First programme costs, the annual saving to the taxpayer stood at an average £34,500 for each service user.

Illustration of house and set of keys.

Programme Evaluation

Collaborative working has been paramount to ensure the success of our Housing First pilot in the Liverpool City Region. We have developed multi agency panels that were led by our Local Authorities.

A independent report evaluated the programme’s activity. Consultants Campbell Tickell found that engagement with other services, such as drug and alcohol support had also improved for 68% of clients.

The pilot was found to be 3.5 times more effective in supporting homeless people to secure and sustain tenancies compared to traditional methods, and while Housing First cost more, it was twice as cost effective.

Read the report

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