Housing First, PIEs and community integration

(NB: the content of this page is a summary of the earlier PIElink forum discussions on HF and PIES, otherwise : HERE)

Being 'housed', and being 'at home'

The COVID era has given a huge boost to the case for rapid re-housing; but also it has thrown up issues of loneliness, the importance of a sense of belonging. It has also meant that many general needs housing services need to find ways to work with tenants with complex needs, and with support services and local communities.

In the UK and elsewhere, we tend to think of Housing First in terms of 'general needs housing' - that is, as 'ordinary' housing as distinct from more specialist-built units. (In the language of Housing First, these are seen as 'scattered site' accommodation, as distinct from 'congregated' units (see the page HERE on this distinction). But in practice, these lines can blur.

In the US and Canada, for example, we may find permanent tenancies offered, within the Housing First programme, in whole apartment blocks, purchased and adapted for the purpose; in motels; or in 'village' or 'campus' style housing, whether adapted or specially built for the purpose.In Canada) there have been examples of hotels taken over to provide semi-permanent (ie: flexible tenancy) accommodation.

In the UK, as a response to the COVID crisis, we have seen hotels brought into use as temporary accommodation. The housing crisis in the UK has also led to a number of expedients, such as re-purposed shipping containers, or similar 'mini-homes', almost always  in a group. The social and peer support value here is typically an afterthought of the planners, but a significant element for the inhabitants.


Networks and clusters

Another development we have seen is the growth of deliberate networks - Clubhouse models, core-and-cluster or hub-and-spoke services, move on accommodation with full tenancies, on-going links in support networks to an original 'intake' unit, a rehabilitation and recovery service; or to a linked employment project or training scheme, as a way to keep a role in the community; or sports, and even circus skills.

These are many forms of 'blended' practical and social activity, with purpose, peer support and staffing seamlessly interwoven. It is in this wide variety of responses, often closely attuned to local circumstances and opportunities, that we see the PIEs approach as providing the overall framework (HERE) to identify 'what good looks like', spanning all these different solutions.

We now need to explore more systematically the extent to which the Pizazz process works to encourage even more creativity and shared learning between services of all kinds. This is probably now best devised as a research project, in order to add to the growing number of studies on the effectiveness of PIEs and the Pizazz; and there are currently plans to form a Special Interest Group to scope the territory and craft a proposal. .


Further background reading/listening/viewing

All forums  and Other SIGs

  • Season Four : HERE
  • An 'Editorial Board' for the PIElink? : HERE
  • Roll out and embedding (for PIE leads) : HERE
  • PIEs and research : HERE


'Housing First and PIEs - A natural fit?'

    'Housing First and PIEs - A natural fit?'

    (Robin Johnson's presentation at the October 2021 webinar)


    • Video: Housing First and PIEs - a forum conversation excerpt with John McGlone


    PIElink pages on Housing First and PIEs

    • Housing First and PIEs - how do they work together? : HERE
    • Is Housing First itself a PIE approach? : HERE
    • (Balancing) principles and pragmatism in PIEs and HF : HERE
    • Housing First and PIEs - where parallel lines meet? : HERE
    • Housing First, PIEs and the Pizazz (Special Interest Group) : HERE
    • Housing models, Housing First and PIEs in the US and the UK : HERE
    • Housing First and PIEs in Europe : HERE
    • Housing First in the 'new world' : HERE

    Other related PIElink pages

    • 'Recovery Housing' in the US and the UK : HERE
    • PIEs, 'scattered site' and 'networked' housing : HERE
    • Outreach, in-reach and pathways : HERE
    • A Pizazz for tenancy support ? : HERE


    • Library items: discussions

    (Please note: you will need to be registered and logged in, to access items from the members' Library.)

    • NIMHE on the 'At Home?' study : HERE
    • Robin Johnson on Public health and social housing: a natural alliance?HERE
    • Dick on Laban on working with the 'pre-contemplative' stage user:  'Take a chance on me' : HERE
    • Alex Smith and Ray Middleton on Navigators and 'system change broker's: HERE


    Case studies

    • Leonie Boland on OT in another key - visual methods assisting person-centred home-making : HERE
    • Jay Levy on A PIE of pathways - the work of REACH : HERE
    • 1011 Lansdowne (Inter-agency eviction avoidance protocol) :  HERE
    • The Bell Hotel supportive housing project : HERE