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Added 25 March 2024

Who is it for

This resource includes two interactive tools designed to support Housing First services and commissioners to reflect upon fidelity to the Housing First principles.

  • The first tool is for commissioners who are designing a Housing First service or who already have a service up and running.
  • The second tool is for services that are delivering Housing First support.

Why is it relevant

Housing First is an internationally evidenced, successful approach to supporting people experiencing multiple disadvantage, with potentially life-changing consequences. Services with high fidelity, or adherence, to the seven principles for Housing First in England, are proven to deliver the most effective outcomes.

Services without high adherence to the principles are less successful, and risk bringing the model into question and impacting the ability of policy and decision makers to understand and adopt it.

It is therefore vital that everyone involved in designing and delivering Housing First services understands the principles and is committed to embedding fidelity.

The Staying on Track framework can be used as a tool to help achieve this. It draws on lessons learned from the application of the frameworks used in Scotland, Wales and for the English Housing First pilots and the recommendations of the dedicated task and finish group that met from October 2022 to March 2023.

Key takeaways

  • The Staying on Track framework has been developed to support ‘fidelity by design’ and ‘fidelity by delivery’. Use of the framework requires collaboration between all those involved in designing and delivering Housing First services and the intention is that it becomes embedded in the ways of working.
  • Achieving high fidelity to the Housing First principles is an ongoing journey. The framework can help by identifying the actions that need to be taken to improve fidelity and acting as a tool for self-reflection and learning. However, it is not an assessment, and there is no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’.
  • It is important that people with lived experience are closely involved in the design and delivery of services, and therefore also in the self-reflection processes.

The framework contains comprehensive guidance on how to complete the two self-reflection tools.

The resource is not a good practice guide and should be used in conjunction with other Homeless Link resources, including the Housing First Toolkit and the Housing First Principles.

Talk To Us

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Alex Smith

Senior National Practice Development Project Manager (Housing First Lead)

Alex is a Senior National Practice Development Project Manager leading Housing First England.