Housing First enables homeless individuals with high levels of complex needs to obtain permanent secure accommodation with the provision of intensive housing and health supports to help the individuals concerned maintain their tenancies.
The National Implementation Plan for Housing First, published in September 2018, which puts the programme on a national footing, is designed to provide this response, by delivering permanent housing solutions and associated supports for rough sleepers and long-term users of emergency accommodation. It extends the delivery of Housing First nationally, with the introduction of targets for each local authority. The Plan includes an overall target of 663 tenancies in the period 2018-2021. The implementation of the Plan is a joint initiative of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Department of Health, the HSE and the local authorities.
In line with the National Implementation Plan, Housing First is being delivered on a regional basis by the local authorities and the HSE. Contracts for the delivery of services have been put in place in each of the nine regions responsible for the delivery of homeless services with tenancies now in place in every region.
The Contract to deliver Housing First in the West region was initially limited to the Galway City area.
Discussions are ongoing with representatives from the region on expanding the programme to the remainder of the West region including Roscommon where six tenancies are targeted under the National Implementation Plan. It is expected to have tenancies in place in every local authority in the coming months.