Housing First

What is Housing First? 

Housing First is a recovery-oriented approach to end homelessness developed in New York in the early 90s  by Dr. Sam Tsemberis and his agency Pathways to Housing. Housing becomes a priority in the process of inclusion of individuals combined with supportive treatment services based on respect for the individual and self-determination.


Housing as a basic human right

Respect, closeness and empathy

Commitment to clients and their needs

Housing in permanent, independent and scattered units

Separation between housing and services

Consumer-choice and self-determination

Orientation towards recovery

Harm reduction approach 


Housing & support

Housing First programs guarantee quick access to housing and the support of a technical team that will provide comprehensive and personalized treatment. This team, that must have specialized training, will also be available 24/7. Treatment is not limited in time and is not conditional upon a pathway to insertion or the housing accommodations.




Experiencing homelessness

With psyquiatric disabilities and/or substance addictions



The only requirements to be met by the person to enter and stay in a HF program are:

Accept a weekly visit of the support team

Provide 30% of their income (if any) for the payment of rent and supplies 


Support Team

In Pathways Housing First model there are mainly two types of teams that provide services: the Assertive Community Treatment - ACT (Assertive Community Treatment) and Intensive Case Management - ICM (Intensive Case Management).

Both teams work from the same approach based on a community-based and interdisciplinary model based on commitment and self-determination. Both teams offer as flexible support and services as necessary. 


Abordaje de intervención

Técnicos que componen

el equipo


Perfil atendido

Trabajo en red


Equipo como grupo

Enfermero/a, especialista en adicciones, peer specialist, psiquiatra, Trabajador/a social, especialistas en vivienda…


Trastorno de salud mental grave con o sin adicciones

Proveedores de servicios directamente


Profesional / usuario

Coordinador/a y gestores de casos, que pueden ser: trabajador/a social, enfermero/a, especialista en adicciones y peer specialist


Trastorno de salud mental moderado con o sin adicciones

Gestión y coordinación de recursos comunitarios



What is not Housing First?

It is not a comunitary housing program

It is not a temporary housing program

Team members do not exercise control or a managerial role


Where is Housing First being done?

housing first - comparativa proyectos

In Europe:

  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Holand
  • Irland
  • France
  • Portugal
  • Spain

More information about the Housing First model

In Spain:

  • Barcelona
  • Madrid
  • Málaga
  • Burgos
  • Baleares