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All you need to know about the HouseProud Pledge!

With partners Stonewall Housing, we are now 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, all you need to know, some case studies and how to apply. 

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).

Evidence required one year after sign-up for Pledge Pioneer accreditation

 

Core commitments 

1. Make sure that LGBTQ+ residents can have input at executive/strategic level – provide two of the following:

  • Provide terms of reference of the resident group

  • Evidence of a recent resident group meeting/ calendar of meetings

  • Evidence of policy impact assessments that specifically consider the needs of LGBT+ residents

  • Process map for consulting with LGBT+ residents

  • Profile of a senior champion (director, executive member, (resident) board member) within the organisation.  This should make explicit how this person is championing LGBT+ issues 

  •  Action plan of the LGBT+ resident group

  • Written endorsement from an LGBT+ involved resident to confirm that they are helping to work towards setting up an LGBT+ resident group

 

2. Increase LGBTQ+ visibility – provide two of the following:

  • Screenshot of website with Pledge Scheme logo prominently displayed and explanation about what the Pledge Scheme involves (HouseProud can provide the text for this)

  • Mention of the Pledge Scheme in the annual report and explanation about what the Pledge Scheme involves

  • Articles/ news releases published, which explicitly mention involvement in the Pledge Scheme

  • Mention of the Pledge Scheme in presentations given externally

  • Mention of the HouseProud pledge scheme in staff inductions

  • Promotion of the Pledge Scheme on social media

 

3. Initiate a programme of staff training to improve understanding of LGBTQ+ lives.  Housing providers must be able to demonstrate that training is being delivered to staff members on the frontline.  Provide one of the following:

  • Sign-up to the Stonewall Housing Inclusion Standard

  • Evidence of training delivered by a specialist LGBT+ provider with a focus on residents/customers (e.g. Stonewall Housing, Opening Doors, etc)

  • Evidence to demonstrate that generic diversity and inclusion training explicitly covers LGBT+ lives 

  • Screenshots of e-learning used by staff members that specifically addresses  LGBT+ lives (we encourage the use of the findings of ‘No Place Like Home’ for this)

 

Evidence for Pledge Plus

 

  • Organisations ready to take the step towards Pledge Plus accreditation, must be able to evidence the following:

  • Evidence that residents have been consulted with to decide on Pledge Plus goals 

  • Evidence of an action plan that has been developed with residents to address particular issues

  • Evidence of progress against the goals 

  • Assurance about how the goals have been embedded in the organisation (e.g. they have been included in team work plans; have been included in someone’s objectives, etc) 

  • Evidence of outputs

  • Assurance that progress will be communicated to all residents e.g. news article or evidenced in the organisation’s annual review

  • Written endorsement from a member of the resident group to confirm that they have been involved in co-producing the priorities and in delivering the goals

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 houseproudpledge@stonewallhousing.org with ‘HouseProud Pledge’ in the title and we’ll get back in touch to confirm some details and get the ball rolling

HouseProud Pledge Pioneer Logo.jpg
  • Anchor Hanover 

  • Sir Josiah Mason Trust

  • Notting Hill Genesis 

  • Network Homes 

  • Swan Housing 

  • Home Group 

  • Stockport Homes

  • Irwell Valley

  • Watford Community Housing

  • Orbit

  • Royal Borough of Greenwich

  • Weaver Vale Housing Trust

  • Onward Homes

  • Quo Vadis Trust

  • Providence Row

  • Prospect Community Housing

  • Mosscare St Vincent

  • L&Q

  • Great Places

  • Origin Housing

  • Orwell Housing

  • Moat Homes

  • Places for People

  • Rochdale Borough Homes

Pledge plus logo.jpg
  • Anchor Hanover 

  • Clarion

Enjoy the video that started it all

 

 

 

Network Homes 

 

Network manages and owns 20000 affordable homes across London and Hertfordshire, housing around 38000 people.

 

In order to achieve Pledge Pioneer status, Network Homes provided evidence in the following areas, among others:

  • An online meeting of staff and residents to discuss diversity, including the HouseProud Pledge project.

  • An article by their CEO describing a 10 point action plan showing what Network Homes aims to do to embrace diversity, including signing up to the HouseProud Pledge.

  • Mention of the Pledge project in their annual report and promotion of the scheme on social media.

  • Commissioning Stonewall Housing to provide training sessions for frontline staff, including maintenance staff, on LGBTQ+ awareness.

 

 

Swan Housing

 

Swan manage over 11,500 homes across Essex and East London with a secured development pipeline of over 8,000 homes, and have been a long and faithful supporter of HouseProud. 

 

In order to achieve Pledge Pioneer status they have, among other actions:

  • Included information about the HouseProud Pledge project on their website, in their 2019-20 Residents’ Annual Report and in the Autumn 2020 edition of HOME (their magazine for residents), inviting interested residents to get involved. 

  • Reviewed the Terms of Reference and Code of Conduct for their Scrutiny Panel and Resident Consultative Committees to ensure they are inclusive and provide opportunities for LGBTQ+ engagement.

  • Started reviewing the EDI training they already have in place, with plans to include key findings from the HouseProud research and roll out training for operatives who work for their repairs partner to further enhance understanding of LGBTQ+ lives.

 

 

Home Group

 

Home is a housing association, social enterprise and charity with a turnover of over £400m and one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality housing and integrated housing, health and social care. 

 

Among the evidence they submitted, they included the following:

  • They have a LGBTQ+ residents’ group, “Rainbow Rooves”, with strategic input into the organisation.

  • They carry out equality impact assessments, including the effect on LGBTQ+ people, as part of the policy development process.

  • There was an article on the HouseProud Pledge in Homelife, their residents’ magazine.

  • They have promoted the scheme on their social media accounts.

  • They have included the experience of LGBTQ+ lives in their diversity e-learning module.

 

 

Organisations who have achieved Pledge Plus 

 

 

Clarion Housing Group

 

Clarion Housing is the UK’s largest housing association, owning and managing 125,000 homes: 350,000 people call a Clarion home their home. 

 

Clarion has achieved Pledge Plus status by:

  • Working with the Out and About Group of involved LGBTQ+ residents on what is most important to them that needs to be reviewed. The Out and About Group agreed that they wanted to look at the organisation’s Hate Crime policies and its approach to Hate Crime;

  • A focus group was held with members and an action plan drawn up; 

  •  Working with Clarion’s staff, research was carried out to identify services available in the areas Clarion works in and how to signpost to them;

  • They contacted all 45 police forces in the UK to get copies of their hate crime policies;

  • Reviewed Clarion’s policies and procedures on anti-social behaviour and hate crime;

  • Published and publicised the new approach, which better reflects the experience and needs of LGBTQ+ people.

 

 

Anchor Hanover

 

Anchor Hanover is the largest provider of housing for older people in England, with around 54000 homes.

 

Anchor Hanover achieved Pledge Plus status by:

 

  • Identifying with their LGBT residents’ group the area that they were most interested in, which was how the organisation dealt with anti-social behaviour and Hate Crime;

  •  Working with the group to revise their approach;

  • Publicising and bringing the new approach into operation.

 

 

 

Case Studies

There's No Place Like Home - the research that created the Pledge

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Download

There's No Place Like Home 

here

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