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'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.