Housing First

Architectural and Social Work Perspectives on Homelessness.

Architectural and Social Work Perspectives on Homelessness. This seminar takes place as a collaboration between the Faculty of Architecture (MA1-3) and the Faculty of Social Science (BA) in the winter semester 2023/24 at THN.

Project Participants: Prof. Dr. phil. Frank Sowa, Dr. Anna Xymena Tissot, Jennifer Raum

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Housing First aims to provide homeless people with immediate and permanent housing. This approach treats housing as a livelihood and a basic need – without requiring homeless people to meet any conditions, unlike previous step-by-step approaches where support and conditions always preceded the provision of housing.

Originally developed in the USA, Housing First is now gradually finding its way into the German support system and has been tested in Nuremberg last year by certain organisations such as Straßenkreuzer e.V.
Together with students from the Faculty of Social Sciences, architecture students will explore the complex phenomenon of homelessness. How do the perspectives of individual actors change our perception of architecture, of housing, of society? How does architecture have a stabilising or destabilising effect within this concept?

The project thus aims to go beyond a purely functional view – i.e. the inclusion of the Housing First concept in housing subsidies. Instead, it is an attempt to mediate between different perspectives (and disciplines) in order to become aware of the complexity of the problem of ‚homelessness‘, but also of the relevance (and real application!) of alternative concepts.

Students will have the opportunity to present their work in the context of a conference on fragile housing in February 2024.