It’s a First for Housing First in Basingstoke

An open door with a set of keys in the lock

16th September 2020

Sovereign Housing Association, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and homeless charity Two Saints have teamed up to provide a new way of supporting the borough’s most vulnerable people into a home.

Two people who have experienced long-term homelessness now have a place to call their own, thanks to the new Housing First partnership, with another three properties set to become available.

Housing First offers homeless people experiencing complex, entrenched difficulties such as chronic health and social care needs their own place to live by providing them with a home first.  Intensive support is offered as part of ongoing wrap-around provision in their own place.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Families, Cllr Tristan Robinson said: “I am delighted that we are now in a position to offer these two residents the new Housing First support as they continue their journey away from the streets.

“Here in Basingstoke and Deane we are proud to do things differently and find new approaches to helping our most vulnerable residents with the support of the Social Inclusion Partnership. Throughout the crisis, we have worked with partners to ensure safe and secure accommodation is offered to all our rough sleepers, complete with individually tailored help and support. We are committed to working with providers, charities and homelessness volunteers with a common goal to eradicate rough sleeping in our borough.”

Steph Wood, Head of Supported Housing for Sovereign, said: “Housing First is a practice more widely used in Scandinavian countries, which focuses on offering homeless people a tenancy first, backed up with support. Rather than asking people to address their problems first - which could be mental health struggles, substance abuse issues or an inability to access medical care and then be ‘rewarded’ with a home of their own, Housing First offers people a home of their own where they can regain stability, safety and support.”

Close partnership working is essential for Housing First to succeed, as a team of professionals’ support residents based on their individual needs. The three organisations will work together to find the right homes for three further households over the next year.

Charlotte Buckingham, from support provider Two Saints, said: “We know Housing First works. People engage with this in a way they don’t with other services. It has a clear role to play in supporting people off the streets and into a place to call home”.

She added, “Partnership working is key and we have a long-standing relationship with Sovereign delivering this successful model.”

Sovereign Housing Association pledged to create 50 Housing First properties as part of its five-year strategy launched in 2019. Working with a number of different local authorities across the south, the housing association has already successfully rehoused 18 people in just 18 months.

Steph Wood concluded: “We believe Housing First works. We’ve seen amazing results, with people who’ve previously struggled, who are now thriving in their new homes, enjoying a quality of life that they might not have experienced for decades. We want to create more housing first homes and better places across the south of England.”

For more information on working with Sovereign on Housing First or other homelessness projects, please contact