Housing First

Housing First is both a program and a philosophy. It challenges the idea that a person needs to meet certain preconditions before being housed and, instead, ensures a person is housed first, with access to adequate supports in order to achieve long-term success.

And it works! Research and local data show that more than 80% of people in Housing First have remained housed 12 months after housing. Housing First has proven to be effective not only in Edmonton, but in many cities across North America. As of January 2017, almost 6,000 people in Edmonton have been housed and supported through Housing First programs.

Housing First as a program connects a person with appropriate and adequate housing and supports. The majority of participants are placed in market rental housing, located throughout the city. The level of support provided is tailored to each participant’s needs:

Rapid Rehousing (RR)

Usually in market housing

Case Management

Housing First Team

Intensive Case Management (ICM)

Usually in market housing

Case Management

Housing First Team

Supported as needed in accessing clinical services

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)

Primarily in market housing

Clinical Intervention

Housing First Team and visits from professional support

Frequent visits from team providing clinical supports

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)

Site based programming

Case Management

Range of supports often in-reached depending on specific needs

On-site supports provided

To connect with a Housing First program, people can call or visit a Coordinated Access centralized intake. The Coordinated Access team uses a simple screening tool to quickly identify a person's needs and then connect them to housing and services.

Once connected to a Housing First program, individuals receive:

  • Intake with the Housing First team.

  • Opportunity to view potential suites that meet their needs with the help of their worker.

  • Once a home is found, the participant is able to sign a lease.

  • Move in assistance and household set up.

  • Regular home visits as well as assistance in connecting to community-based services.