Human services & social policy; JLARC to study feasibility of adopting 'housing first' approach. (HJ632)

Introduced By

Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate


Study; housing first; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to study the feasibility of adopting a "housing first" approach to human services and social policy in Virginia. In conducting its study, JLARC shall (i) review the linkage between permanent housing and access to human services provided at the federal, state, and local levels, (ii) estimate the potential financial savings to the Commonwealth of a "housing first" approach, and (iii) develop a model detailing how a "housing first" approach to human services and social policy could work in the Commonwealth. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


12/02/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/09 097712500
12/02/2008Referred to Committee on Rules
01/16/2009Assigned Rules sub: Studies
01/22/2009Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely
02/10/2009Left in Rules


Mira S., tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

"Housing first" programs are cost-effective and humane programs that allow individuals who are chronically homeless to first get access to housing (hence "Housing First") and THEN access the various services they may be in need of--substance abuse, mental health, etc. For some people, this approach may be counterintuitive b/c they may feel that a person first needs to be sober in order to get housing. But studies are showing that Housing First is effective not only because people who are chronically homeless are removed from the streets and, therefore, there are reduced expenses associated with that (ER visits, etc.) but also because once a person is provided with safe and stable housing, they are more likely to access services. Stable housing first, then the other things can follow. Unfortunately it is not likely that many (or any) studies will go through this year due to the expense.

Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

the Virginia Interfaith Center supports this bill

Anne Haynes writes:

This is a very important bill as well. I think it is obviously is a good approach to helping to resolve homelessness in our state. Good Job, hope it passes!

Del. David Englin writes:

Thanks, Anne!

Nonprofit NoVA, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

Nationwide many communities, including jurisdictions in Virginia have adopted Housing First strategies as a successful means of preventing and ending homelessness. Fairfax, Arlington and other Northern Virginia Counties have adopted the Housing First approach.