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Housing First

Our trailblazing approach to breaking the cycle of homelessness among society’s most vulnerable

Inspiring Change Manchester ended in 2022 after eight years. Find out more below or visit the Fulfilling Lives website.

In April 2016, ICM initiated one of the first Manchester pilots of the Housing First approach to identifying people with entrenched homelessness and supporting them into their own accommodation. This means we have been securing a place to call home for those on the pilot without placing conditions on them first (such as abstinence).

Using Housing First principles, people are asked to show only that they want to take up (and maintain) a tenancy agreement. This gives them a base from which to take control of their situation, helping professionals to provide meaningful support with long-term benefits.

Housing First is different to traditional ways of housing those experiencing multiple disadvantages, which often provide accommodation on the condition that clients commit to change. We know that, with a roof over their head, our clients are more likely to keep to a programme of support and recovery – and improve their lives.

Research shows that, in between 80% to 90% of cases, Housing First schemes help people to maintain a tenancy for a year or more. Meanwhile, traditional approaches do the same around 40% of the time.

The Housing First approach has already achieved radical results in places such as Denmark, Finland and France, so we’re excited to be working with it here in Manchester.

In 2019, Greater Manchester launched a full Housing First programme led by Great Places, demonstrating the success of our pilot. Over 3 years, ICM supported 25 people into their own tenancies.

To learn more about our Housing First pilot, you can read our evaluation here.

After 35 years without a place to call home, a tenant has been moved into a tenancy with the support of our Housing First team.

– Sarah, programme team

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