Homelessness policy, geography and the rise of Housing First (16215)
In the context of research on the geographies of homelessness, this paper examines the rise of a policy and program model known as Housing First. Targeting ‘chronic homelessness’—a term commonly applied to long-term homeless individuals with complex support needs—Housing First initiatives involve the provision of permanent housing linked to comprehensive, client-directed support services. Despite their rapid international circulation, high public profile and significant implications for the governance of homelessness, Housing First initiatives have received very little attention within the geographical literature. In response to this absence, I seek to highlight the rise of Housing First and its implications for research on the geographies of homelessness, a field increasingly attentive to the persistence of similarly ‘supportive’ measures amid broader neoliberalisation projects. After examining the growth and history of Housing First initiatives, I argue that two key areas warrant further attention: first, the ambiguous politics of Housing First ideas, and second, the subjectivities, technologies and mobilities that shape and enable their implementation.