Housing First study shows impressive long-term change in health and wellbeing

A recent five-year study looking into the impact of the Housing First programme has found a dramatic improvement in health, justice, income and employment outcomes.

The study run by Otago University looked at 387 people who had been part of a Housing First programme, run by The People's Project in Hamilton - which facilitates access to permanent housing and consistent specialist support.

Over five years, hospitalisations fell by 44 percent, the number of nights spent at mental health units reduced by 63 percent, and there were 43 percent fewer criminal charges.

Meanwhile, incomes grew, as did the number of months people paid tax.

The results indicated improved management of ongoing health conditions, and reduced reliance on emergency or acute services, lead researcher Professor Nevil Pierse said.

"This is better for individuals' quality of life and lessens the burden on our health care system."

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