Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law

Publication Date



homeless advocacy, Housing First, homelessness


Increasingly in recent years, policymakers have focused their efforts on ending chronic homelessness and, in particular, on individuals grappling with mental illness, substance abuse, and similar challenges. Central to this effort has been the rise of a new model of service provision called Housing First. Housing First reverses the long-standing practice of conditioning housing on compliance with treatment plans or other service requirements, instead providing immediate independent living for chronically homeless individuals with dual or multiple diagnoses and only then making intensive services available. This Commentary reviews this important policy shift and explores some conceptual and practical challenges in moving to a Housing First model.