Soha Housing develops new Housing First project in South Oxfordshire

Released on September 2, 2019

Six homes are being provided from Soha Housing’s stock for homeless people with complex needs through its new Housing First project.

Soha Housing, operating in South Oxfordshire and surrounding areas has, with South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC), established a pilot to identify the impact on homeless people, the community and the public purse.

Soha and SODC are jointly funding the initiative and have commissioned independent evaluation to show that the model is transferable in a semi-rural area not historically associated with homelessness.

Cllr David Rouane, cabinet member for housing for South Oxfordshire District Council, said: "South Oxfordshire District Council is delighted to be working with Soha and Aspire to help some of the district’s most vulnerable residents.  Housing First provides a stable, supportive environment for former rough sleepers to rebuild their lives".

Maureen Adams, Director of Services and Communities at Soha explains: "As a Homes for Cathy member, Soha is committed to working in partnership with SODC to tackle homelessness. Our residents are fully behind this project and want to see us make a difference in their locality."

Specialist support is being provided by Aspire, an award-winning employment charity and social enterprise in Oxfordshire. They help vulnerable people facing challenges - such as homelessness, poverty, addiction, offending histories or mental health difficulties - to move into the world of work.Aspire harnesses intensive, holistic support to address each individual's complex needs and make significant, positive changes to their lives.

Paul Reid, Head of Homelessness programmes at Aspire says "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Soha Housing and SODC to deliver this project, and I hope that other housing associations will emulate the model in their areas."

Soha is a community-based mutual housing association with 6,700 homes, providing much needed new homes to support population change and economic growth, as well as contributing towards affordable housing and reducing affordability pressures across the country.