A longitudinal and comparative assessment
The teams on the ground and tenants in the programme were monitored by an evaluation team for two years.
Developments within the HFB target group were compared to the trajectories of homeless people who have followed the traditional pathway of assistance in Belgium.
In total, 378 people were regularly visited by an evaluation team.
In parallel, an efficiency analysis has been carried out (examination of the cost-impact ratio) by an external group: IDEA Consult.
Aside from France and Spain, Belgium is the only country in Europe to have a comparative follow-up in this way.
In Canada, a large-scale study (involving over 2000 people) confirmed the “master-purchasing” aspect of Housing First practices for homeless persons with the most vulnerable profiles (Further reading: Canada report).
- Romain Liagre, Doctor of Geography, at Strada,
- Marjorie Lelubre, Doctor of Sociology, at the Observatory for serious precariousness and exclusion from housing at the Relais Social de Charleroi,
- Charlotte Brosius, Social Sciences Researcher at Steunpunt Algemeen Welzijnswerk.
- Coralie Buxant, Doctor of Psychology, general and scientific coordinator of Housing First Belgium.
Results show the effectiveness of Housing First in Belgium
After the 2-years of follow-up, the results inspire enthusiasm: 90% of tenants are still in accommodation. Despite their highly vulnerable profile, these people are demonstrating their capacity to take ownership of their homes.
How the HFB programme was set up is described here.
The results were presented at the international conference taking place on 9 June 2016 in Brussels.
From an evidence-based policy point of view
The aim of the evaluation process was to meet the effectiveness conditions of the Housing First methodology in order to draw up some recommendations for action on the ground and policy-making.
Housing First Belgium may inspire new effective and efficient policies.