Hábitat International Conference
New experimentations on evidence based Housing First. Results of the Hábitat project in Spain. Oct 2, Madrid.
The Housing First model was conceived in 90s in the USA. Since then, Housing First is gathering growing attention in other parts of the world, including Europe. The interest has been enormous among researchers, public policy makers and technicians of Social Services from primary care or specialist services. One reason is that it proposes a different way of approaching the reality of the homeless people with a more chronic trajectory and higher support needs.
Specifically, Housing First provides service users with:
1. Immediate and unconditional access to independent and stable housing (not associated with adhering a specific treatment or achieving intervention goals).
2. Continuous support, provided with the intensity that the person requests and always led by the election of the person (self-determination).
The different evaluations of the Housing First programmes developed in many countries have shown that the model delivers great value since:
- It is an effective model that gets people to maintain their housing and to clearly improve their quality of life.
- It is an efficient model, showing a similar cost compared to traditional services for homeless people but with better results.
- It is a sustainable model, through multiple savings generated by a lesser use of costly emergency services and a greater use of less expensive normalized standard services.
- It is an innovative model which provides a new, more appropriate and more effective solution to one of the most serious social and complex situations, especially what regards housing exclusion.
- It focuses on people, their dignity and the full exercise of their rights and their citizenship.
- It is based on evidence, and incorporates a rigorous evaluation which shows positive results, sustained over time and comparable between different ongoing projects. It is a results-oriented model.
In 2014, RAIS Foundation launched the Hábitat programme, as the first Spanish experience of implementation of the Housing First model. The programme aims at those who, because of the complexity of the process of exclusion, are often left out of traditional care systems.
Hábitat is not only an innovative programme for homeless people, but also a social research project that aims at generating knowledge relevant to professionals in the field of social exclusion. With this evidence, RAIS intends to nurture the process of homeless policymaking at the local, regional, national and international levels.
Finally, Hábitat was born with a clear vocation of continuous learning. The programme has closely followed and exchanged with other the Housing First programmes such as Pathways in the USA, At home in Canada, Un chez-soi d’abord in France and other Housing First European experiences that have been launched in recent years.
Goals of the Conference
- To present and visualize the main results of the Hábitat first evaluation report, as a first experience of implementing the Housing First model in Spain.
- To learn about international Housing First implementation experiences.
- To understand the latest trends of Housing First projects and evaluation methodologies.
- To discuss with key agents (public and private) on the adequacy of the model and its consolidation in care networks as a solution for those who are in need of higher support.