We have reported previously on ‘Housing First’ interventions for homeless people. ‘Housing first’ means that a person is given secure accommodation as a first step towards rehabilitation; detoxification, improved nutrition, and help in finding a job can come later. Before and after studies showed that ‘housing first’ interventions are cost-saving, but high quality RCTs show that they are at best cost-neutral. Before and after studies, of course, suffer from biases, such as regression to the mean (a form of bias discussed in a recent News Blog). However, a powerful article in the New England Journal of Medicine  argues that ‘Housing First’ is still a fine intervention and cost-effective, even at RCT estimates of effectiveness. Even if ‘Housing First’ is not cost-releasing it is much more cost-effective than many widely used therapeutic interventions. The CLAHRC WM Director is persuaded by the argument, and remains a fan of ‘Housing First’ interventions.
— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director
- Lilford RJ. Health of the Homeless and Inclusive Health Services. NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands News Blog. September 11, 2015.
- Kertesz SG, Baggett TP, O’Connell JJ, Buck DS, Kushel MB. Permanent Supportive Housing for Homeless People – Reframing the Debate. N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(22): 2115-7.