"Housing First costs money, of course: Finland has spent €250m creating
new homes and hiring 300 extra support workers. But a recent study
showed the savings in emergency healthcare, social services and the
justice system totalled as much as €15,000 a year for every homeless
person in properly supported housing.
Interest in the policy beyond the country’s borders has been
exceptional, from France to Australia, says Vesikansa. The British
government is funding pilot schemes in Merseyside, the West Midlands and
Greater Manchester, whose Labour mayor, Andy Burnham, is due in Helsinki
in July to see the policy in action.
But if Housing First is working in Helsinki, where half the country’s
homeless people live, it is also because it is part of a much broader
housing policy. More pilot schemes serve little real purpose, says
Kaakinen: “We know what works. You can have all sorts of projects, but
if you don’t have the actual homes … A sufficient supply of social
housing is just crucial.”"
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics