North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

USICH Housing First Checklist: A Practical Tool for Assessing Housing First in Practice

Housing First is an approach where homeless persons are provided immediate access to housing and then offered the supportive services that may be needed to foster long-term stability and prevent a return to homelessness. This approach removes unnecessary barriers and assumes that supportive services are more effective in addressing needs when the individual or family is housed – when the daily stress of being homeless is taken out of the equation. Key components of this model include a simple application process, a harm reduction approach, and no conditions of tenancy beyond those included in the lease. This approach is highlighted in Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness as a core strategy for ending homelessness.

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) recently developed The Housing First Checklist: A Practical Tool for Assessing Housing First in Practice. This tool is “intended for use by policymakers, government officials, and practitioners alike to help make a basic assessment of whether and to what degree a particular housing program is employing a Housing First approach.”

The Housing First Checklist is available on the USICH website.