Housing First in Nottingham
In recent months, staff at Opportunity Nottingham have been working with housing providers in the city, in order to launch a Housing First service.
The Housing First model is purposely designed for those who need significant levels of help to enable them to leave homelessness. Described as probably the single most important innovation in homelessness service design in the last 30 years, the model was developed by Dr Sam Tsemberis from Pathways in New York. It aims to ensure those experiencing homelessness have a high degree of choice and control, and whilst actively encouraging service users to minimise their use of drugs and alcohol, and to seek treatment, it does not require them to do so in order to access the service. This is a very different approach from many other models, whereby service users are usually required to abstain from drug and alcohol use before accessing housing. The Housing First model uses housing as a starting point rather than an end goal, with housing secured and accessed prior to other needs being addressed. There is also a focus on health, well-being and social support networks as part of the ongoing work once a person is housed. There is more information about Housing First in this short video.
Opportunity Nottingham is working with Tuntum Housing and Longhurst Group to provide housing under the Housing First model, to a small number of Beneficiaries. A dedicated Landlord Liaison Officer role has also been created within the project, to help support the delivery of the Housing First model.