Sign your organisation up to the HouseProud Pledge Project today!
We are now actively challenging the sector to sign up to out Pledge Project - you'll be in very good company, and together we can make our homes better for our LGBT+ residents. Here's what it's all about, and please download our latest booklet
What is the HouseProud Pledge Scheme?
The HouseProud Pledge is a scheme that all social housing providers (housing associations, local authorities and ALMOs) can sign up to, to demonstrate their commitment to LGBTQ+ resident equality and support. It has been developed by HouseProud and the University of Surrey in association with residents, staff members and sector leaders to address the issues raised by the findings of ‘No Place Like Home?’, the largest study ever undertaken to understand LGBTQ+ experiences of social housing.
Why is it needed?
The home is of central importance to LGBTQ+ residents, because it should be a place where people can freely express their sexual orientation and/ or gender identity without fear or prejudice. Sadly, despite recent changes in equality laws, LGBTQ+ residents continue to experience discrimination in their everyday lives, including in relation to their housing. Our research found that 60% of trans respondents did not feel that their neighbourhood was a safe place to live and one in five gay men reported modifying their home in some way (e.g. moving pictures or books) to hide their sexual orientation from a visiting repairs operative or housing officer. A third of respondents also felt that their housing provider was not able to deal effectively with issues like harassment.
What is the opportunity?
Residents told us that they want their landlord to move beyond token gestures – the HouseProud Pledge provides a framework for landlords to work with involved residents to take action and demonstrate their commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and support. With the recent launch of the Social Housing Green Paper, the Government has called on the sector to empower residents and strengthen accountability. The HouseProud Pledge has been designed to help housing providers work with involved LGBTQ+ residents and foster positive relationships.
What is involved?
Many housing providers already work with LGBTQ+ involved residents – signing up to the Scheme offers recognition for this. The HouseProud Pledge scheme is based on two levels of accreditation – Pledge Pioneer and Pledge Plus. We ask that all housing providers deliver three core commitments to foster engagement with LGBTQ+ residents (Pledge Pioneer). Following the delivery of these, landlords can work with involved residents to co-design projects and achieve the higher level of accreditation (Pledge Plus).
How do I sign up?
Signing up to the HouseProud Pledge is free of charge. If your organisation has not yet signed up, you can do so now. Simply email HouseProud_LGBT@outlook.com with ‘HouseProud Pledge’ in the title and we’ll get back in touch to confirm some details and get the ball rolling
There's No Place Like Home
'There's No Place Like Home' outcomes to become sector pledge card
Senior leaders from ten housing associations and the GLA met in July to push forward work to develop an LGBT pledge card for providers.
Workshops in London, Manchester and Brighton will now be held to give residents a say in what they would want to see from a pledge card.
The work stems from research published in February led by the University of Surrey and HouseProud, the network for LGBT people who work in social housing. Their report, entitled No Place Like Home, details LGBT residents’ experiences of living in social housing.
Developing a pledge card builds on some of the recommendations in the report. In particular, the report suggests that housing providers should gain the trust of their LGBT residents – by taking complaints about harassment and abuse seriously, for example.
They should also demonstrate clearly their support of their LGBT residents, it said.
“This is an opportunity for us to be bold and rally the sector behind a pledge that demonstrates we are good landlords,” said L&Q Chief Executive David Montague, who hosted the meeting. “It is also a chance to show our LGBT residents that we care.”
The meeting brought together senior leaders from Clarion, Hanover, L&Q, Metropolitan, Notting Hill Genesis, Optivo, Peabody, Riverside, Shepherds Bush and Stonewall Housing, as well as the GLA and the research team from the University of Surrey.
They considered various options for a pledge card – from a straightforward list of general pledges that providers could implement to a set of commitments based around themes. These included those from the report’s recommendations, such as building trust and being an openly LGBT supportive housing provider.
Participants agreed to meet again later this year after a series of workshops for residents and frontline housing staff have been held.
The No Place Like Home report is the result of the largest-ever study carried out in the UK into the lives of LGBT social housing residents. It revealed some disturbing truths about how they feel about their homes, their landlords and their communities.
A fifth of gay men, for example, modify their home if a repairs operative visits. Six out of ten trans residents say their neighbourhood isn’t a safe place for them to live. A third of LGBT residents say their landlord didn’t handle issues such as harassment well and less than half feel a sense of belonging to their neighbourhood.
The pledge card will be launched in February 2019.