Homelessness Research and Policy Development: Examples from the Nordic Countries

The interaction between research and policy development has played an important role in the transformation of homelessness policies and services over the last decade. This article will focus on the Nordic countries, where there has been close interaction between research and policy development in the formation of national strategies and programmes. In Denmark, Norway and Sweden, comprehensive national counts of homelessness have been carried out based on similar definitions and methodology and in Finland, monitoring of the extent and profiles of homelessness has been carried out for several years. In Denmark and Finland, national data have been used in the formation of national homelessness strategies that have been based on the Housing First principle, and data have been used to monitor developments in homelessness following implementation of these programmes. In Sweden, influential research on the staircase system has contributed to in-depth understanding of the unintended exclusion mechanisms that may sometimes be inherent in homelessness policies.
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