The Homelessness programme has been developed in line with government policy[1], which emphasises the need to focus on securing tenancies for individuals who experience chronic or episodic homelessness. The programme takes an integrated approach and is being implemented through the Service Reform Fund by the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government; the Department of Health; Local Authorities; the HSE and Genio. 

The programme is taking a 'Housing First' approach, which emphasises securing stable, long-term homes for people along with with a range of tailored supports to help them maintain their tenancy. Evidence from Ireland and abroad demonstrates that the ‘housing first’ approach is the most effective way to address the needs of people who are long-term homeless and is particularly suited to homeless people who have mental health and/or addiction issues. This contrasts with traditional approaches that offer emergency, short-term solutions and that emphasise getting people ‘accommodation ready’. The Homelessness programme has provided funding and support for the rollout of Housing First in four urban areas. An independent evaluation of the programme is underway along with the development of a training programme.

The homelessness programme is also focussed on improving integrated pathways between hospitals and community supports. This is being undertaken through a pilot implementation of a Dublin-wide homeless hospital discharge policy with enhanced screening and referral processes for housing first tenancies.

[1] Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness (Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, 2016). Housing First National Implementation Plan 2018 - 2021 (Government of Ireland, 2018).

Complex Systems Change

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