Delegates from Finland – a “world leader” in social policy – travelled to North West London to discuss a scheme aimed at tackling homelessness among single people.

The group from Helsinki visited Brent Civic Centre, where they learnt about the council’s Single Homelessness Prevention Scheme (SHPS).

The scheme, the first of its kind in London, makes use of a £900,000 fund from the government’s Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer initiative.

This grant will be matched by Brent Council, though it will only pay out when successful outcomes are achieved for those in need.

SHPS hopes to help 1,500 single homeless people over two years and, since it launched in September 2017, has prevented 42 households from becoming homeless and has agreed 154 Personal Housing Plans.

The Finnish group was representing the independent public foundation SITRA, which helps to inform the development of government policy in Finland on social issues.

Cllr Harbi Farah, responsible for housing and welfare reform at Brent Council, said: “Finland is widely recognised as a world leader in social policy, and it's great to see them coming to Brent for inspiration and to get new ideas.”

According to the council, a number of other London boroughs are looking at replicating this approach in their areas.