The Economist recently examined the success of Housing First in Canada. The benefits of using Housing First to end chronic homelessness there echo what studies have shown in the United States.
Canadians refer to the homeless as “rough sleepers.”
“Calgary, the first Canadian city to use a housing-first approach, saw average annual savings of more than $30,000 per person from housing its most acute cases.”
Opponents of “giving” housing to those who may still be drinking or abusing other substances need to make their case in the light of the many benefits.
“Advocates point to the harms avoided: a recent study in Canada that randomly assigned participants to housing-first or a standard programme concluded that housing them did more to improve their quality of life and their functioning in the community.”
A major barrier to the wider implementation of Housing First is the lack of affordable housing in Canada.
“For many cities seeking to house rough sleepers, finding homes is the hardest part. Rents are soaring, and waiting lists for subsidized housing growing ever longer.”