Housing First keeps Branching Out with new national framework

Housing First keeps Branching Out with new national framework

A revised and updated version of the National Framework for Housing First has been published today.

Branching Out is a shared 10-year framework supported by the Scottish Government, COSLA, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Wheatley Group and Homeless Network Scotland.

A spokesperson for Homeless Network Scotland said: “It’s four years since a set of recommendations were submitted to the Scottish Government centred around prevention, rapid rehousing, transforming temporary accommodation and redressing the severest forms of disadvantage with Housing First.

“The challenge was addressed in a way that firmly rejected outdated designs about what is ‘good enough’ for people who have experienced rough sleeping or homelessness. With conversations focused on how rapid, how much and what cost. And on how we measure the outcomes of rapid rehousing – how will we know when it’s working? And is it working yet?

“It is a long-term programme that relies on many interplaying factors to succeed, not least the availability of social housing in the places that people want to live. This is what will unlock the reliance on the temporary housing options that prolong people’s experience of homelessness and the damage it causes.

“Across this period, Housing First has continued to scale up steadily. From the initial pilots and pathfinder right up to today - where 24 out of 32 local authority areas are providing a Housing First response for local people whose homelessness is made much harder by experiences including trauma, addiction and mental health problems.

“This is significant progress and evidence that change is happening, even while it often feels too slow and sometimes painstaking for the people involved and the people waiting. Indeed, the best available estimates point to around 3,500 Housing First tenancies being needed every year, over a 10-year programme, to meet people already in the homelessness system, and those forecast to be best fit for Housing First over the next 10 years. Which means we’ve only just begun.

“The National Framework draws from the learning of what’s gone before and underpins the task that lies ahead. It combines a practical framework for local partnerships, with strategic oversight of progress toward achieving the best conditions and resources for Housing First to flourish. And it provides a detailed analysis for the range of partners that are needed to put Housing First in Scotland – housing associations and cooperatives, national and local government, health and social care, public health, community justice and the third sector.

“Home is the best base to build and live our lives. Housing First is normal, its fairer, it works – and we all benefit. You can view or download the national framework here: Branching Out – the National Framework for Housing First.”

Are you starting up - or scaling up - Housing First in Scotland? Whether your role is planning, commissioning or delivering Housing First support - find out more about the tools and time that is available to help you at www.housingfirst.scot.

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