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Oct 10th, 2023 | Latest News

Housing First in Wales continues to deliver impressive 91% tenancy sustainment rate

Cymorth Cymru has today published the latest Housing First statistics for Wales, demonstrating the scale and impact of this internationally acclaimed model in Wales.

Data collected from 17 Housing First projects between February 2018 and September 2022 shows that 701 people have been supported by Housing First projects in Wales, 332 people have started Housing First tenancies and 91% are sustaining their tenancy.

Key statistics include:

  • 17 Housing First projects are operating across 17 local authorities
  • 701 people have been supported by Housing First projects since February 2018
  • 332 people have started Housing First tenancies since February 2018
  • 290 people were sustaining their Housing First tenancies as of 30th September 2022
  • 91% tenancy sustainment rate across all Housing First projects in Wales
  • 87 people were in temporary accommodation waiting for a Housing First tenancy on 30th September 2022
  • 3 projects have achieved the Housing First Wales Accreditation

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said:

The key findings of the Housing First Tracker reiterate that this approach is an effective solution to tackle homelessness.

I would like to offer my thanks to Cymorth Cymru and the Housing First Network for taking forward this significant area of work.

I look forward to working in partnership as we expand Housing First to ensure this innovative approach is accessible to all who need it.

Cymorth Cymru’s Housing First Policy Manager Alex Osmond said:

These statistics demonstrate the extraordinary impact of Housing First services in Wales. Since we published the first statistics, we have seen an expansion in the number of local authorities delivering Housing First, an increase in the number of people being supported, and a consistently high tenancy sustainment rate.

I would like to pay tribute to the frontline workers and managers across Wales who work incredibly hard to deliver these projects in line with the Housing First principles. Your passion, hard work and commitment to the model has resulted in its success and we commend you for putting flexible, person-centred, trauma-informed and strength-based approaches at the heart of your practice.

What is Housing First?

Housing First is a recovery-oriented approach to ending homelessness that focuses on quickly moving people experiencing homelessness into an independent and settled home, rather than requiring people to have lengthy stays in temporary accommodation and prove they are ‘housing ready’. Intensive, multi-agency support is provided with no pre-conditions or time-limits.

The model has traditionally been targeted at people who are sleeping rough or are very marginally housed, and who have chronic and complex support needs. It was developed in New York in the 1990s, primarily by community psychologist Sam Tsemberis, and has since been widely adopted across the USA and Europe. International evidence suggests that Housing First tends to achieve a tenancy sustainment rate of 80-90%.