Accessing housing and sustaining tenancies remains a major challenge for people facing multiple disadvantage. 

To tackle this we’re using the Housing First approach, an evidence based model which is proven to benefit clients with multiple needs. Housing First places people with complex needs in their own home, with no pre-conditions or expectations of abstinence.

FLIC’s use of Housing First has proven highly effective with our clients, many of whom have failed to thrive in hostel environments and who would struggle to access or maintain private rented sector (PRS) accommodation without intensive support.

To date, over 85% of clients in our Housing First properties have sustained their tenancies, often moving straight off the street. For the majority, it is the longest they have ever lived at a stable address. All have experienced improvements in physical and mental health and most have reported a reduction in drug and alcohol use.

"I've never had my own place to live. Now I can say 'I'm going home' it's brilliant. They helped me get everything together for it." - Solomon

FLIC have been working alongside Housing First England to provide evidence of change. We have also been making the case for other London boroughs to adopt the Housing First Approach as part of their rough sleeping reduction strategies. In partnership with Solace Women’s Aid, we completed a demonstration pilot which explored how the Housing First model can benefit women experiencing multiple disadvantage, domestic violence and abuse. Subsequently, Islington Council have funded the project as a commissioned VAWG service until 2022, and hopefully beyond.

Download learning resources for Housing First.

Read an article on our Housing First work in the Islington Gazette.

Improving complex needs support in hostel pathways

FLIC is also working with Camden Council to improve the experiences of people with multiple and complex needs in the Camden hostel pathway.  This has included:

  • Piloting a Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) approach in one Camden hostel. This delivered training to staff and delivered a psychological group-work programme. LB Camden have subsequently funded a psychologist to further develop the implementation of a psychologically informed model across the Camden hostel pathways.

  • FLIC advised on the creation of a specialist high support ‘complex needs’ hostel in Camden - the first of its kind in the borough - to work intensively with people with high levels of need around substance misuse, mental health, criminal justice and offending. 

  • FLIC is working in partnership with the hostels pathways and local women’s organisations to develop the 'Safe Spaces' model for women experiencing multiple disadvantage in Camden’s hostels. This is a trauma and gender informed model of support for women who have experienced multiple disadvantage, which also utilises the new 'Team Around Me' case conferencing template, developed and piloted by FLIC & Pause Islington.