Could Finland’s Housing First initiative help solve the UK’s homeless crisis?
Since 2009, rough sleeping in the UK has increased by 169%, with one in 200 people reported to be homeless. Yet this isn’t a problem limited to the UK. Across Europe, numbers of rough sleepers are on the increase. Yet in the same timeframe, Finland has seen a decrease of 18%. So how have they managed to help people out of homelessness? In 2008, they implemented a ‘Housing First’ initiative. Financed by taxes, the system sees people who are homeless given housing first - not after a lot of paperwork or temporary accommodation - helping to get the most vulnerable people off the street immediately. Could this same system help the 300,000 rough sleepers in the UK?