Find COVID-19 resources and guidance at Network of Care Massachusetts.

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 1154 chronically homeless adults into permanent housing with supportive services, including 233 veterans.

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.

1154

Chronically homeless adults have been placed into permanent housing with supportive services since MHSA founding in 2006.

72%

Of the total HHG population is either housed through HHG, left the program to move on to another type of permanent housing, or transitioned to long-term treatment or a more appropriate health care setting.

5%

Of people served by HHG (about 55 individuals), are known to have returned to homelessness after obtaining permanent housing.

$11,711

Annual savings per housed tenant HHG provides the Commonwealth.