Guadalajara, Mexico Sees Decline in Homelessness, Scottish Charities Advocate Early Intervention, Singapore Releases Point-in-Time Count Findings, and More


Guadalajara, Mexico Sees Decline In Homelessness


El Informador reports that Guadalajara, Mexico, has seen significant decline in homelessness since the last City Council point-in-time count in 2015. Rubén Arroyo Ramos, head of Centro de Atención Integral a Personas en Situación de Indigencia acknowledges that there are approximately 200 people experiencing homelessness throughout the city – compared to a reported 1,200 people two years prior. Ramos places emphasis on the need for supportive services for those with illnesses, disabilities, and substance abuse.

Read the article here. (This article’s original text is in Spanish)

The Importance of Early Intervention in Reducing Homelessness

Charities in Scotland are stressing the importance of early intervention initiatives among populations at risk for homelessness. The homelessness service sector says that while community and government responses to homelessness as it occurs is important, it’s vital to have support in place beforehand to help prevent its occurrence. Homelessness agencies are calling on the government for a national audit and research on the current provision of conflict resolution services, that work to support families and ensure young people don’t end up on the streets.

Read the study here.


Street Homelessness in Singapore


Earlier this year, volunteers conducted a point-in-time count of people experiencing street homelessness in Singapore.Today Online reports that, according to findings released last week, a total of approximately 180 people were counted sleeping on the street during the count. The primary places people were found sleeping were in open spaces and regular spots on the street with makeshift cover (primarily categories 1(a) and 1(d) of the IGH Global Framework of Understanding and Measuring Homelessness). Interviews with individuals revealed financial hardship and difficulty commuting to work were among the most common factors leading to their experience with homelessness. Interviews also revealed feelings about a need for the government to address the issue of homelessness.

Read the article here.

Plastic Concepts: Social and Sustainable Housing Solution to Homelessness

Mercedes Galiana of Arquitectura Y Empresa explores “Conceptos Plásticos,” a 2011 project by architect Óscar Mendez. The project’s objective was to build low-cost, ecological and social housing as a solution to homelessness in rural areas. Mendez patented a system that converts recycled plastic into building blocks. In 2015, the company participated in the construction of shelter for 42 families fleeing violence in Guapi, a town in Colombia. Upon obtaining the Venture Award in 2016, the project was granted funding, allowing the company to consider international expansion. The strategy marks a possible way forward to drive reductions in street homelessness at a global level.

Read the article here. (This article’s original text is in Spanish)


How Does Homelessness Affect Voting Practices?


Much of the voting process in North American countries involves the use of a permanent address – voter registration cards and information on how, where, and when to vote is often mailed to residents’ homes, for example. How does this affect one’s ability to practice their right to vote if they are experiencing homelessness during an election? In the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness’ latest blog post, Anna Kopec from the University of Toronto shares conclusions drawn from her academic research on the barriers that individuals experiencing homelessness in Toronto, Canada face while voting. According to Kopec, processes in place that ensure individuals experiencing homelessness can vote are complex and remain relatively unknown to them.

Read the blog here.

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Niagara Receives Funding for Supportive Housing, Brno Wins FEANTSA’s Ending Homelessness Award, and More


Niagara, Canada Receives Funding for Supportive Housing


The provincial government has provided over 5 million dollars in funding towards housing for at least 63 people experiencing homelessness in Niagara, Canada. St. Catherines Standard reports that through the Ministry of Housing’s Home for Good program, about 63 housing units are expected to be built. The program is placing emphasis on creating housing accompanied by supportive services for those who are experiencing homelessness and need assistance. Community Services Commissioner Adrienne Jugley adds that Niagara will reach out to community agencies for partnership in providing support services. The article includes references to research indicating that supportive housing is more cost effective than temporary fixes to street homelessness.

Read the article here.

A Guide to Housing First for Youth

In response to policymakers and service providers’ concerns about how housing first initiatives would suit young people, the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) collaborated to provide a framework adapted for this population – Housing First for Youth (HF4Y). The ongoing development and implementation of HF4Y led to the need for a more comprehensive program model guide; thus COH and A Way Home Canada partnered to develop This is Housing First for Youth: A Program Model Guide. They developed the guide with the help of consultation with organizations from several countries, such as the National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, FEANTSA Youth, and experts like Dr. Sam Tsemberis – whom many consider the founder of the Housing First model. The enhanced program model guide features revised and refined core principles; discussion of HF4Y as a program versus a philosophy and of models of accommodation and support; and an outline of the proper groundwork for the program.

Read the guide here.


Brno Wins FEANTSA’s Ending Homelessness Award


Brno, a city in Czech Republic, won FEANTSA’s Ending Homelessness Award for 2017-2018. The city’s project examined whether family homelessness could be solved through the housing first approach, and designed an action plan to address it. Fifty homeless families were housed in a municipal flat and provided with intensive housing first case management through award winning local pro-Roma non-governmental organization IQ Roma Servis. The initiative has seen positive results thus far, with all 50 families sustaining housing. If these results persist, other municipalities are expected to adopt the strategy. Vit Lesak, director of the Platform for Social Housing, advocates for a system of social housing in the Czech Republic together with 65+ NGOs and experts from the field, and was part of IGH’s 2016 leadership program. Congratulations Brno!

Read more about the project here.

Block Project in Seattle, USA Builds Backyard Cabins for People Without Homes

“It’s a private-sector solution that doesn’t require taxes or land to be purchased,” architect and co-founder of Seattle’s Block Project, Rex Hohlbein, said. The pilot project uses the backyards of participating homeowners to build small housing units for people experiencing homelessness. Jenny Cunningham of The Guardian states that finding property owners willing to host someone experiencing homelessness has been one of the easiest tasks for the project’s team. Hohlbein is hopeful that the project will see positive results and lead to expansion. The reporting is part of The Guardian’s Outside in America series.

Read the article here.

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Crisis UK and Homeless Link Team Up With ‘Older Age Homelessness’ Prevention Session


Crisis UK and Homeless Link Team Up With ‘Older Age Homelessness’ Prevention Session


As part of Crisis‘ 50th anniversary, the organization is conducting a major consultation to gather evidence and opinions of UK residents and homelessness experts that will be used to inform policy change. The ‘Older Age Homelessness’ prevention session, delivered in collaboration with Homeless Link, is a segment of the consultation taking place in London on Monday, October 30, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 15:30 p.m.(BST). The session will aim to identify solutions to help prevent elderly people from experiencing homelessness and ensure that those who are rapidly rehoused. Crisis encourages individuals from policy and academic backgrounds in the homelessness sector to register and attend!

Find more information here.

Shelter Project Meets Opposition in Los Angeles

A City Council committee in Los Angeles raised concerns regarding the location of a 49-unit shelter, Lorena Plaza, proposed to be developed in the Boyle Heights neighborhood. The New York Times reports that opponents of the facility argue that an abandoned oil well within close proximity points to environmental hazards and that a nearby restaurant and shopping center may be a disturbance to its residents. The project is being supported by nonprofit organization A Community of Friends – who has built housing for over 2,000 people without accommodation across Los Angeles. “Nothing can happen without political support,” said Ruth Schwartz, the executive director of nonprofit homelessness advocacy group Shelter Partnership.

Read the article here.


Homelessness in Morocco


I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Morocco’s High Commission for Planning (HCP) released data regarding the state of homelessness in Morocco from the 2014 population census. According to HuffPost Morocco, data indicated that there were about 7,226 people experiencing homelessness in that year. President of the Jood association, Hind Laidi, has raised concern about the need for more current data, suggesting that there is now an estimated tens of thousands of people living without accommodation. The HCP also provided information regarding the demographics of the homelessness population. The report indicated that the majority of this population are men (86.7%), while the remaining 13.3% are women.

Read the article here. (This article’s original text is in French)

Hamilton, Canada Will Offer Tiny Homes to Those Experiencing Homelessness

Hamilton, a city in Ontario, Canada, is moving forward with a plan to develop ‘tiny homes’ for people lacking accommodation. The plan draws inspiration from similar plans implemented in other cities, such as Detroit, Michigan; New York, New York; and Madison, Wisconsin. Matthew Green, Councilor for Ward 3 in the lower city, stated that with people relying on tents placed in old industrial areas of the city for shelter, there is an urgent need for solutions. Advocates for tiny homes argue that these smaller housing units are proven to be more cost effective overall than high-rise facilities.

Read the article here.


Over 20,000 People Receive Units in Jharkhand, India


Earlier this week, Chief Minister of Jharkland, Raghubar Das, announced the distribution of just over 20,000 housing units to people experiencing homelessness across the state through the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) initiative. India Today stated that the government will equip the units with electricity, bathrooms, water, and gas cylinders and ovens. Das also mentioned that the state has set a goal to end homelessness in Jharkhand by the year 2020. Kashmir Life reported on the state of homelessness in India in recent years in an article this week.

Read the article here.

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Freight Containers and Affordable Housing in Hong Kong, Housing Solutions for Young People in Europe, and More


Thinking Inside the Box: Hong Kong’s Next Effort to Solve Affordable Housing Shortage


According to the South China Morning Post, a plan to convert freight containers into living units to increase housing for those experiencing various forms of homelessness is under consideration in Hong Kong, China. Freight container units have been used for housing in places like the Netherlands, Taiwan and Australia; the Chinese government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are taking part in a study to examine the strategy’s feasibility in China. Meanwhile, intermediate measures to address the matter will be introduced by the end of the year.

Read the article here.

Madrid Adopts Housing First Approach

“What came first, the egg or the hen?” asked Mayor Manuela Carmena. In a blog post earlier this year, we reported that Madrid’s 2017 budget allotted funding to housing first led initiatives. Those initiatives are continuing to flourish, with an increasing number of homes being allocated to individuals experiencing homelessness across the city. As of December 1, there will be a total of approximately 135 homes available under the program. As reported in 20 Minutos, the single-person homes will be complemented by health, employment, education and social services. This week, experts from Empresa Municipal de la Vivienda y Suelo (EMVS) – the Municipal Company of the Housing and Land of the City council of Madrid, the Municipal Society Zaragoza Housing (SLU), and the Association Provivienda.

Read the article here. (This article’s original text is in Spanish)


Locked Out: Housing Solutions for Vulnerable Young People Transitioning To Independence


FEANTSA and the Fondation Abbé Pierre collaborated on a report providing an overview of affordable housing initiatives in Europe targeted at young people in vulnerable situations. As stated in the report, individuals in Europe under the age of 30 represent about 20-30% of the homelessness population in most European countries. Locked Out discusses the effects of government policies on young people’s ability to transition into living independently. The experience of homelessness among young people is different from that of other age groups; thus, solutions must be tailored to fit their specific needs.The organizations concludes the publication with implications on improving government policies that affect young people’s transition into housing of their own.

Read the report here.

Reworking Approaches to Homelessness in the U.S.

Katie Pyzyk of Smart Cities DIVE delves into the changing approaches to solving homelessness in the United States over past decades. With approximately 550,000 people experiencing homelessness, as reported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), communities have been working to find strategies that will produce long-term solutions for those without housing. Over time, government and community leaders and organizations have begun to shift from traditional, facility-based systems that rely primarily on temporarily sheltering individuals and families to more holistic approaches that also address contributing factors. “You have to address the entirety of a household’s challenges and barriers and always work with their strengths; that’s when you can make a meaningful difference and achieve housing stability,” stated Kurt Larrick, Assistant Director of Communications for the Arlington County Department of Human Services.

Read the article here.

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World Habitat Day 2017, Urgency to End Homelessness in Greater Manchester, and More


World Habitat Day 2017: Affordable Homes Through Housing Policy


On Monday, October 2, 2017, World Habitat Day will carry the theme ‘Housing Policies: Affordable Homes’. The focus encourages all levels of government and relevant stakeholders to reflect on concrete initiatives to ensure adequate and affordable housing to drive the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Current challenges in urban housing are outlined in The City We Need – the World Urban Campaign (WUC) declaration towards Habitat III. The publication also highlights drivers for change – strategies and approaches that will help reach the desired goals.

Read the article here.

Chicago’s Uptown ‘Tent City’ Encampment Dismantled

Mary Wisniewski and Marissa Page of the Chicago Tribune explore controversy surrounding the recent dissolution of a homelessness encampment on Chicago’s north side. Encampments located under Lake Shore Drive in the Uptown neighborhood were dismantled earlier this week in preparation for an upcoming construction project on the Wilson and Lawrence Avenue bridges. Authorities are suggesting that the former residents comply with orders to evacuate the area.The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless has sought permanent housing options but, has not yet been able to secure them.

Read the article here.


Cape Town, SA to Provide ‘Safe Spaces’ for Those Experiencing Homelessness


In early September, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety, Security and Social Services in Cape Town, South Africa, JP Smith, acknowledged that law enforcement-based approaches to address homelessness in the city have not been successful. Now, according to Maxwell Roeland of The South African, the city will work to develop an effective strategy. Smith shared that one of the new initiatives is the development of “Safe Spaces” – partially enclosed spaces that offer a safe environment, storage for belongings, supportive services, and more. These spaces will be in place to address the shortage in shelter space and the concerns of individuals experiencing homelessness regarding the operation of shelters. The article also stated that a city survey revealed that 85% of the homelessness population would be willing to use the spaces.

Read the article here.

Comprehensive Housing Strategies Must Be Supportive

In an article for Santa Cruz IMC, Steve Pleich shared details about a recent convening among Santa Cruz, California county leaders. During the gathering, leaders shared their thoughts about the development and implementation of a comprehensive affordable housing strategy. The city’s Planning Director, Lee Butler, emphasized the importance of establishing a ‘common language’. He believes it is critical that the conversation about affordable housing plans is inclusive of all areas of need – including those living in extreme poverty, who may not qualify for affordable housing yet but, still need an operable pathway to housing. Butler urged every discussion at every level to include transitional and permanent supportive housing.

Read the article here.


Greater Manchester Mayor Issues a No-Nonsense Ultimatum to End Homelessness


Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, England, is demanding that all organizations take urgent and immediate action to solve homelessness throughout the city. According to Jennifer Williams of the Manchester Evening News, Mayor Burnham wants councils, GP leaders, police and housing providers all to take part in fulfilling the needs to house those sleeping rough. With the number of people experiencing homelessness growing, Burnham believes that a fusion of short-term measures and long-term measures – constructing new shelters and reforming the housing sector – has the potential to reverse the city’s growing issue. “As mayor I have asked individuals, businesses and the voluntary sector to do more, and they have – Now it is time for the public sector to increase the urgency with which it responds to homelessness and rough-sleeping,” said Burnham.

Read the article here.

The State of Homelessness in India

A Hindustan Times article examining the state of homelessness in India reports about 1.77 million people experiencing homelessness across the country, an overall decline since the last Census . Despite the decrease, the article suggests that the government has not been effective in addressing the issue. The article urges leaders to work to identify and address structural factors that lead to homelessness and then, focus efforts on prohibiting forced evictions and demolitions, enhance policy coherence and convergence between housing strategies and initiatives, and improve provision of water, sanitation and collection of data regarding these issues. The nation’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has set a goal to provide housing to everyone experiencing homelessness by the year 2022.

Read the article here.

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