School of Sociology and Social Policy
Basis Yorkshire – An evaluation of the first ‘Housing First’ project for sex workers.
Housing First is a housing model that aims to house people with complex needs and histories of entrenched homelessness. Rather than waiting for people to meet particular criteria and progress through existing models of housing and support pathway models, Housing First prioritises secure and supported housing in the first instance. The methods of this model is non-judgemental and based on principles of harm-reduction, which makes this model a radical alternative to current housing and support systems in the UK. The model has been successfully adopted in other European countries and in the US and has gained significant attention in the UK,. with homelessness and housing sector advocates calling for organisations to pilot the project.
Basis Yorkshire is a small, Leeds-based charity which focuses on sex work and child exploitation and works with around 300 women and young people a year. They have successfully secured funding for a year-long Housing First project for sex workers, which will be the first of its kind in Leeds, and in the country. Other housing services available do not meet the needs and lifestyles of many of the women working with Basis, resulting in cycles of homelessness and crisis, which require costly interventions from emergency services in the city. By offering stable and supported housing with no strings attached, Housing First projects across the world have significantly reduced the cost of local adult social care, health services, policing and others. THis project will evaluate the implementation and outcomes of the project, contributing to a national evidence base and policy development activity around local housing and support provision