What is housing first?

  • Housing first is a model of supported housing that promotes permanent housing as the first step to support and assist vulnerable individuals.
  • Tenancy in ‘housing first’ is not connected to use of supportive services, although social service providers may provide robust services that are readily available and offered frequently throughout the day through assertive engagement.
  • The ‘housing first harm reduction model’ for substance use addresses the harm caused by elevated substance use while not forcing elimination of the use completely or making it a condition of continued safe housing. On site resources for reduction are available and offered daily.
  • ‘Housing first’ pairs housing with intensive case management and on-site support services.  In some circumstances, if participants leave the housing temporarily, case management services are still available.