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Originally published by Fortune.
Katie Rose, Europe Director at the Centre for Public Impact, spoke to Fortune about Finland's approach to tackling homelessness.
According to Katie Rose, Program Director at the Centre for Public Impact—a London-based think tank that works with governments and policymakers—the Finns’ success with the housing first model can be traced to practitioners like Y-Foundation gaining support from the highest levels of government.
“We’d argue that a key factor that has enabled it to work is the Finnish government’s approach to governance more broadly, which they’ve recently begun describing as ‘humble government.‘ This means that when forming new policies or interventions, the central government does not assume it knows best or that a single solution will work across all contexts. Instead, it supports local learning and experimentation,” Rose told Fortune via email.
“We believe that Finland’s success on complex issues like homelessness and education,” she continued, “is a testament to what national governments can achieve when they optimize for learning rather than control.”
She cites Austin and Liverpool as cities with homelessness initiatives that have emerged in recent years as models in their own right. As the Finns have done, officials in Austin and Liverpool have created alliances of public and private interests—not just city authorities but local specialists on homelessness—that work closely with the homeless population to find permanent solutions.
Read the complete piece in Fortune.