What is Housing First?
Housing First, which provides no-or-low barrier access to housing, is a proven best practice for reducing chronic homelessness in a cost-effective and compassionate manner. Housing First recognizes that the most effective housing solution for chronic homelessness is placement in permanent housing paired with ongoing supportive services, such as mental and physical healthcare, job training, and other support programs.
Housing First and the no-or-low barrier approach to housing chronically homeless individuals has been successfully implemented in communities nationwide. For example, in 2005, the State of Utah launched a 10 year program to end chronic homelessness using the Housing First model. By 2015, the state saw a dramatic decrease in its chronically homeless population – with the percentage of the annual homeless population who were chronic dropping from 14 percent to less than two percent. Housing First is being used in Los Angeles, Boston, New York City and in other communities across the United States.
More Competitive for Funding
Given the success of Housing First initiatives nationwide, a commitment to the Housing First model is now a requirement to receive homelessness project funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). By ensuring Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties are committed to a Housing First approach, the Getting To Zero campaign will make our region more competitive for state and federal dollars to fund our strategic, regional response to homelessness.