DEMAND AN END TO POVERTY THIS GENERAL ELECTION
TAKE ACTION
Housing

Sajid Javid: I want to roll out 'Housing First' in Britain

The government's communities secretary Sajid Javid believes Britain should mirror Finland's radical 'Housing First' approach, which simply gives rough sleepers stable accommodation as the first step in homelessness prevention

Sajid Javid believes Britain should adopt the groundbreaking ‘Housing First’ approach in the country’s fight to end homelessness.

The radical concept, first introduced in Finland, places homeless people in permanent housing before they become afflicted by issues such as addiction and mental illness. It removes any initial complicated tests, and in essence trusts individuals to turn a corner independently, with support provided further down the line.

Speaking at a special House of Lords reception for Big Issue sellers and supporters, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government spoke of the action required to tackle the “serious” scourge of rough sleeping.

“Just one person that is homeless is one too many,” Javid said.

“Clearly there is a serious problem in this country. We need to do something new and bigger about it. One of the things I’ve really focused on is the idea of ‘Housing First’, something I went to see in Finland and have learned from, and something I want to bring to and roll out in Britain.”

Helsinki

A report, published earlier this year by EU housing organisation Feantsa, named Finland as one of the only EU countries not in the midst of a homelessness crisis. Javid visited the Scandinavian country in March following the Centre of Social Justice’s recommendation that the UK government consider the experimental approach.

Just one person that is homeless is one too many

Javid also highlighted the Homelessness Reduction Bill, which became an official act of parliament in April, and reiterated the Conservative election pledge to “halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it by 2027”.

He also praised work of The Big Issue, from the revolutionary launch of the magazine in 1991 to the wider social footprint felt across Britain today.

“I’m delighted to welcome you here to parliament,” Javid told the room of magazine vendors, staff and supporters. “I first came across The Big Issue when I first came to London with my dad and I saw someone selling the magazine. We bought a copy and I always have since.

“I’d like to thank the Big Issue vendors for being here, to thank those that have faced adversity and taken the opportunity to help themselves. It’s great to meet you all.

Lord Bird, Sajid Javid and Big Issue vendors

“I want to acknowledge how much the group has grown since. As an organisation, with the Foundation and Big Issue Invest, you have given a voice to so many people and their concerns, and helped them with their challenges.

“Today is an opportunity to you thank you all for what you do. The work you do transforms people’s lives.”

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Labour unveils plan to fix rental crisis and immediately axe no-fault evictions
Labour will ban no-fault evictions, confirms Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer
RENTING

Labour unveils plan to fix rental crisis and immediately axe no-fault evictions

'All my stuff is ruined now': Renter speaks out after home flooded with faeces and sewage
Privste renter Decoda Smith
RENTING

'All my stuff is ruined now': Renter speaks out after home flooded with faeces and sewage

Council charges Grenfell residents cleaning fee for memorial to victims: 'Who would think this was fair?'
Grenfell memorial
Grenfell

Council charges Grenfell residents cleaning fee for memorial to victims: 'Who would think this was fair?'

Labour manifesto's 'vague' plans on homelessness unpicked: 'Next to nothing for those on the margins'
Labour leader Keir Starmer
General election 2024

Labour manifesto's 'vague' plans on homelessness unpicked: 'Next to nothing for those on the margins'

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know