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New Date for our Hate Crime Network Meeting: Thursday 7th November

 We'll be writing with an invitation to all our members and affiliates with the new date of our Hate Crime Speaker Meeting confirmed so far are GALOP who have just issued their latest hate crime report, and Stop Funding Hate.. hope to see you all then

You can download the report here

Can you help with the University of Surrey's latest study?

We're tackling LGBT homelessness

 

On Thursday 26th September we invited some lead speakers to our network event at Winckworth Sherwood solicitors, to talk about how we should tackle homelessness amongst LGBT people.

Carla Ecola

Carla left Birmingham as a young person, living in unstable housing and squats until their mid-twenties. 

Carla joined a training scheme for homeless people to work in the voluntary sector, and from there got a job with the homelessness charity Thames Reach. After several years working in supported accommodation, hostels, daycentre and on outreach with London Street Rescue, Carla noted the lack of safe options for LGBTIQ+ clients, and reflected on their own experiences of 'hidden homelessness' and not feeling valid or safe as an LGBTIQ+ person in homelessness services.

Carla gathered the support of LGBTIQ+ colleagues and activists to open a 10 week shelter pilot in December 2017. The project reopened in December 2018 as a permanent, year round shelter. In April 2019 The Outside Project community centre opened, creating space for marginalised LGBTIQ+ groups, activists and artists. 

Michael Nastari

Michael  is a registered social worker with extensive experience of the LGBT+ charity sector. They have worked previously worked for the LGBT Foundation and The Albert Kennedy. They are currently the Director of Service for Stonewall Housing and a trustee for LGBT+ Anti-violence charity Galop. Having worked in the field of LGBT+ homelessness for over a decade they firmly believe more can be achieved when we work together which is why they champion the partnership approach.

Carrie Reiners

Carrie joined the Albert Kennedy Trust in April 2017 as the Director of Fundraising.  She brings nearly 20 years experience in charitable fundraising having worked in both the US and UK and fully believes in the principle of philanthropy as a vehicle to help people change the world.  Carrie has volunteered for many homeless organisations and shelter projects over the years and fully embraces AKT’s mission to help end youth homelessness.  She is married with two teenaged children and one very large, excitable dog. 

LGBT+ Asylum Seekers 

Say it Loud Club

Donate to Micro

Rainbow

On what has been reported to be the hottest day ever recorded in the UK, HouseProud held its latest network event discussing LGBT Asylum seekers. 

Barry O’Leary is a director at Micro Rainbow, an organisation which aims to provide safe housing to LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees; facilitate their access to employment, volunteering, training and education; and to research and better understand the specific issues faced LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees and to make recommendations that improve their lives.

One of the ways we can help Micro Rainbow is to buy them household items for their short-stay SATS houses that they provide for LGBT+ Asylum Seekers, and you can do this from the link to the right. You can buy bed linen, furniture and even a toaster.

Say it Loud Club's Aloysius Ssali recounted the powerful story of his life, as he found that he could no longer live in his home of Uganda, and how he applied for asylum in the UK - and then dedicated his life to making this process more humane for other LGBT+ people. 

SILC supports LGBT+ people who are fleeing persecution from their country of birth. They are already supported by Housing Associations in finding move-on accomodation and advice, and recently launched their first Pride Campaign  #RefugeePride - which celebrates how far their members have come in being able to live openly and be proud to be LGBTQ+ refugees.

Both organisations are looking for nominations to social housing properties - contact them if your housing provider is able to help.

The most poignant speaker at the meeting was Geoffrey Kasenene. He had his story read out, as he is still living in a refugee camp in Kenya where he headed from his native Uganda. 

Geoffrey is incredibly brave as the refugee camps house refugees from all backgrounds in the area, and LGBT+ people face real risk of assault and exclusion from being allowed to work. To counter this discrimination he organised a protest at the UNHCR

Geoffrey Kasenene

Save the dates for our 

events....

 

Network Event: Homelessness and LGBT People. 

Thursday 26th September 

6pm - 9pm  

Network Event:

Responses to LGBT+ Hate Crime 

Thursday 7th November- 6pm - 9pm

Festive Social with Planning Out and Saviles. 

Wednesday 27th November 6.30pm - 9pm 

The network events and festive social will all be ticketed via Event Brite - we circulate the details to our membership a bit closer to the time. 

If you'd like to join up and get our emailed updates, then head over to the contact us page.

 

All our events are FREE and generally open to all people who are interested. We look forward to seeing you!

HouseProud steering group members nominated for Women in Housing Awards! 

We're over the moon that for  HouseProud Steering group members Jo Peres and Lynne Nicholls were nominated un the 'Inclusion' category at the Women in Housing Awards.

This is the second year running that HouseProud has been nominated in these awards - Pamela Sinnott won the prize in 2018

We're proud to be launching

the HouseProud Pledge!

We’re so proud to be launching the HouseProud Pledge scheme for housing providers. 

 

It follows our publication last year of ‘No Place Like Home’, the largest UK study of its kind to understand the experiences, concerns and preferences of LGBTQ+ social housing residents.

 

Sadly, despite recent changes in equality laws, our research highlighted that LGBTQ+ social housing residents continue to experience prejudice in their everyday lives and a significant number report that they find it hard to trust their landlord or believe that they are being listened to:

·     A third of LGBTQ+ residents felt their neighbourhood was not a safe place to live as an LGBTQ+ person

·     A third of survey respondents felt their landlord was not able to deal effectively with issues like harassment

·     A fifth of gay men reported that they regularly modify their home if visited by their housing officer or a repairs person to make their sexual orientation less visible (e.g. moving pictures, books and DVDs).

 

LGBTQ+ social housing residents want their landlord to be more proactive on inclusion and to demonstrate their commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and support.  The Pledge has been developed by HouseProud and the University of Surrey in association with residents, staff members and sector leaders from across the country and provides a framework for landlords to work with involved residents to take action and demonstrate their commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and support.   

To sign up to the HouseProud Pledge or for more information, please email HouseProud_LGBT@outlook.com

Funding awarded to deliver on

HouseProud Research

The Network for LGBT People Working in Social Housing

Last year the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence launched the Knowledge Exchange Fund, which offered up to £8,000 of funding to undertake projects that would help to address challenges facing the UK housing policy and practice communities.

The Knowledge Exchange Fund attracted a lot of interest and a total of forty applications was received. The panel was impressed with the exceptionally high quality and the wide range of applications submitted, however due to the limited funds available, they were only able to fund five projects.

After a thorough shortlisting and evaluation process, the following projects were selected:

Housing with Pride – a knowledge exchange project to actively promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity and affirmative action in the social housing sector

This project brings together academic research, social housing providers, and third-sector organisations to promote new frameworks for creating inclusivity for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer (LGBTQ+) people living in social housing.

The recent study by the University of Surrey, No Place Like Home, which was commissioned by HouseProud, showed that despite changes in equality laws, LGBTQ+ residents continue to experience discrimination in their everyday lives, especially in relation to housing. To help address the concerns raised by residents in this study, HouseProud and the University of Surrey developed an LGBTQ+ social housing residents’ Pledge Scheme, where those who sign it commit to take action to improve their housing services for LGBTQ+ residents. Stonewall Housing, has simultaneously conducted strategic reviews on how best to address the housing concerns of those in the LGBTQ+ community and has developed an Inclusion Standard as a result. Both schemes will be launched in February 2019.

This project aims to engage professionals working in the social housing sector and LGBTQ+ residents to consider the HouseProud Pledge and Stonewall Housing Inclusion Standard schemes, to promote their uptake, and to evaluate their impact.

Over the course of the 8-month project, the team will:

  • produce an animated video;

  • deliver a series of Knowledge Exchange workshops and webinars aimed at housing professionals;

  • deliver workshops to engage with LGBTQ+ residents;

  • run a social media campaign to promote the project within the LGBTQ+ community;

  • deliver a half-day conference to debate the potential impacts of the Pledge and Inclusion Standard schemes and discuss if the model could be replicated to engage with diverse groups of social housing residents.

If you would like to learn more about this project, please contact Professor Andrew King, University of Surrey.

The HouseProud response to the government's green paper on housing

 

Housing and the home are of central importance to LGBT+ residents because they offer a space where people can feely express their sexual orientation and/or gender identity without fear of prejudice or reprisal.  Our ‘No Place Like Home’ research, which we launched earlier this year, highlighted the need to rebalance the relationship between residents and landlords, particularly as many LGBT+ residents do not believe that they were being listened to or treated equally by their landlord.

Based on the findings of the research, our response highlighted the need for swift and effective handling of complaints that relate to harassment and discrimination as well as complaints where safety is a concern.  It also outlines the progress that we’ve made in developing our pledge scheme, to follow-up on the findings of the research and help landlords to affirm their commitment to LGBT+ equality and support.  We believe that our pledge scheme model could be replicated by others to engage residents to help influence decision-making and improve outcomes.

HouseProud welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Government’s Social Housing Green Paper.  

Writes HouseProud Policy Officer and Clarion's Senior Policy Analyst John Stevens

Download our response here