The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) has developed a Housing First checklist that can be used by practitioners, policymakers, and government officials.

The new tool helps assess whether and to what degree a housing program is employing a Housing First approach. According to USICH officials, the checklist can be used during a site visit, program audit, or as a guide when reviewing funding applications or assessing program policies.

The checklist has two sections. The first is for the housing program or project level. The second is a checklist of elements at the community level.

The Housing First approach to ending homelessness offers people immediate access to permanent affordable or supportive housing. A key component of Housing First is that the housing is not contingent on completion of treatment or sobriety. Although services are usually offered to residents, participation is not a requirement. As a result, Housing First developments are yielding higher retention rates and lower returns to homelessness.

The checklist can be found on the USICH website.