Housing First

Housing First is an approach to addressing homelessness that focuses on providing permanent housing without barriers to entry such as sobriety, treatment, or service participation requirements. Housing First is built upon the principles that homelessness is fundamentally a housing crisis and that having necessities like a stable place to live must come before other, less critical needs.

Housing First programs provide rental assistance based on the individual's or family’s needs. Participants sign a standard lease. Supportive services are available to people in Housing First permanent housing but they are not required to participate in these programs.

Housing First in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) operates the Home & Healthy for Good (HHG) program with funding provided by the MA Legislature. Since 2006, HHG has placed 1,457 chronically homeless adults into permanent housing with supportive services.

HHG results show a trend toward tremendous savings in health care costs, especially hospitalizations, when people who are chronically homeless receive housing with services. Once in housing, individuals are safer than they were on the streets or in shelter, experiencing fewer accidents and injuries that require immediate attention.


1,457 chronically homeless adults have been placed into permanent housing with supportive services through HHG from 2006 to 2022.


Over 900 units of permanent supportive housing have been supported with HHG funding since the program’s inception.


The estimated annual health care savings per person, per year for the Commonwealth with the implementation of the HHS program are $5,267.