Policy makers from Finland take a lead from Brent’s Single Homelessness Prevention Service

6 March 2018

A delegation from Finland visited Brent's trailblazing homelessness scheme at the Civic Centre last week.


The delegates from Helsinki were in Brent to learn about the Single Homelessness Prevention Service (SHPS) that launched in September.


The SHPS scheme is backed by the government's Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer initiative with £900,000, which the Council is match funding. Brent only pays when successful outcomes are achieved for single people in housing need. A number of other London boroughs are now looking at replicating Brent's pioneering approach in their areas.


The Finnish group was representing the independent public foundation SITRA, which helps to inform the development of government policy in Finland on social issues.


Cllr Harbi Farah, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: "Finland is widely recognised as a world leader in social policy, and it's great to see them coming to Brent for inspiration and to get new ideas.


"SHPS aims to help 1,500 single homeless people over two years. Since the launch of the scheme in September, SHPS has prevented 42 households from becoming homeless and has agreed 154 Personal Housing Plans."


The SHPS scheme is the first time in the world that a social impact bond has been used by a council in partnership with the voluntary sector to finance homelessness prevention. "Social Impact Bond" is a new type of agreement designed to improve performance by freeing up the voluntary sector to innovate and provide better value for money.