In some ways similar to the Housing First model, the Rapid Rehousing approach would mean that providing safe, appropriate, and sustainable accommodation should be the first priority for all new homelessness presentations.
It is only once housing is secured that support workers and other agencies can most effectively deal with the more complex underlying issues behind an individual case, whether they be mental health, alcohol or substance misuse, or some other trauma.
For Rapid Rehousing to be effective, all local authorities need to work to increase the availability and diversity of affordable housing options, whether directly owned council housing, housing associations, or well regulated, affordable private rental properties.
Local authorities must also consider the evidence that a range of dispersed accommodation options with dedicated support will be more effective than concentrating clients in single locations (such as ‘super hostels’).
The development of affordable housing must take priority over the further development of high-end, exclusive properties and premium student accommodation, which do not meet the current housing needs of Welsh communities.
The enhanced offer of dedicated Housing First projects must be available for those individuals with more complex needs, and should continue to uphold the principles identified by the Housing First Network.
In particular the individuals must have choice and control over their housing, and be given unconditional, non-time limited support.
Rapid rehousing should be considered an essential public health intervention, as it is the best way of preventing the long-term threats to health presented by prolonged periods of homelessness and in particular rough sleeping.