A Mixed Method Study of the Fidelity of the Bergen Housing Programme in Norway to the Pathways to Housing Model
Housing First (HF) programmes have been implemented in Norway since 2012. An evaluation of 10 programmes conducted in 2015-2016 showed very good results when it comes to tenants achieving housing stability, having access to services, and experiencing improvement in different life-areas. None of the programmes had conducted a fidelity assessment until Bergen decided to participate in the international fidelity project. This article is based on this assessment. The fidelity assessment took place between August and November 2017 and all seven professionals in the programme team participated in the assessment. All of them also completed follow-up interviews. There are 30 individuals served by the programme. The programme showed an overall average score of 3.7 on a 4-point scale. The highest scores were in the domains of Service Philosophy and Separation of Housing and Services, while the lowest score was in the domain of Service Array. Several facilitators of programme fidelity were identified. Foremost, Norway has a strong and well developed welfare system that ensures many of the basic needs of the service users are met, such as housing subsidies and access to social and health services. Barriers to fidelity included an insufficient supply of suitable housing, a lack of essential services within the programme, and a lack of systematic training and implementation experience. Based on the usefulness of the experience for the Bergen HF programme, other Norwegian HF programmes are planning to conduct fidelity assessments.