Webinar 25th November 2021 Make your Workplace Trans and Non-Binary Inclusive
We were pleased to host an insightful webinar which had lots of essential takeaways, in an engaging discussion on how we should be supporting our Trans and Non-Binary colleagues in the housing sector.
Joining HouseProud's Trans Officer Sophie Collinge, were Puja Mitra from Ark and Christina Riley, the long-standing friend of HouseProud, who champions Trans rights in the construction industry,
Event 23rd November 2021 Network Evening
In our first in-person network evening for over a year, we joined with our friends at Savills and Planning Out to learn about about Tonic’s recent launch of the UK’s first LGBT+ affirming retirement community, delivering a much-needed safe and inclusive environment for older LGBT+ people.
Tonic Housing Association is a community-led not for profit organisation and are at the frontier of delivering a much-needed safe and inclusive environment for older LGBT+ people.
Tonic support people in later life, ensuring they don’t feel the need to go back in the closet, which is a typical story for many older LGBT+ people accessing care or housing. We heard from Tonic CEO, Anna Kear. When asked about the project Anna said:
“We are making history, realising a long-held dream to provide a safe place for older LGBT+ people to live well, in a community where they can be themselves and enjoy their later life.”
Event: October 2020 Black History Month
We hope you managed to catch the Black History Month celebration event hosted by HouseProud on the 22nd October 2020.
Asif Rashid led an ideas exchange of best practice and achievements for Black History Month as celebrated in housing.
We are sure you will agree the passionate conversations, laughter and celebrations were intoxicating. It was great to have such representation from across the housing sector.
Event: February 2020 International Women's Day; All Talk and Not Enough Action?
Event: July 2019 Pride in London
November 2018 HouseProud conference:
Colour in your Career and Make it Bright!
A partnership between HouseProud and Unify helped to deliver their first ever conference on Friday 19th October
UNIFY is the cross-sector network group representing the BAME communities. UNIFY also provides lively and informative event programmes and networking opportunities.
The Colour your Career conference was held in the riverside offices of Norton Rose Fulbright near Tower Bridge. Over a hundred housing professionals, attended workshops about board membership, CV skills, and how to thrive in a merger.
There were keynote speakers across the afternoon, including an energising and empowering presentation from Cherron Inko-Tariah, MBE, who took the conference on a journey from barriers in the workplace to how to be your own superhero.
Closing the event was Paula Kahn, Board Chair at Metropolitan Thames Valley. She reaffirmed the importance of remembering “that without BAME and LGBT people, our organisations would fail, because a diverse workforce helps us make the best decisions!”
Pamela Sinnott who organised the event for HouseProud along with Lynne Nicholls said:
This was an amazing conference made possible through phenomenal joint working across the sector through the two diversity network groups. It’s fantastic to see people learning and networking together.
Elizabeth Froud, Deputy CEO of Notting Hill Genesis who led a breakout group said;
"It was a great event with a real sense of energy"
John Mayford of Olnec who also led a breakout group said
"The whole event was a great pleasure; congratulations on the organisation of a great conference! I am glad our workshop went down well, great that we had an impact . I am happy to report that a number of housing associations have expressed an interest in Olmec's work as a result of this opportunity. Thank you!"
Leona Menville, the co-chair of UNIFY said
"We are extremely proud to have co-hosted this important event during Black History Month.
As we continue our exciting organisational journey of change and transformation, which will deliver new opportunities for staff wishing to change or progress their career paths and pursue their passions, we are acutely aware of the need for us to support one and another to achieve our goals.
It was therefore, very gratifying to see our members taking charge of their careers and becoming “Opportunity ready” by attending these workshops. In the famous words of Walt Disney “All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them”
Outing and Event: July 2018 PRIDE in London
We had such a good time at Pride this year!
The Pride in London Team really got it right this year - a new route, and no waiting around for ages - and there seemed even more people waving us on!
We're collecting all the pictures together and they'll be on here soon. In the meantime, you can see us on the official Pride video below at 2:10:15
Networking Evening: May 2018
Planning Out and HouseProud discuss LGBT+ Spaces
On the same night as the 24Housing Diversity Awards, back in London, we were proud to hold the first joint network meeting with our colleagues in Planning Out, which is the cross sector network group for people working in Urban Planning and Development.
We were pleased to discuss 'where are the queer/ LGBT places?' with
Laura Marshall from UCL Urban Laboratory, who talked about whether in 2018 we still need queer spaces and what can be done to promote and protect them. Kindly hosted by Savills.
24 Housing Coverage
Speaker Event: March 2018
#Press for Progress - International Women's Day
"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."
To celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day L&Q, Clarion, Notting Hill, Genesis and HouseProud came together to host an inspirational networking event.
Hosted by L&Q at their new headquarters, we were inspired by our 12 speakers from across the housing sector and beyond.
Research Launch February 2018
There's No Place Like Home
Nearly 50 per cent of LGBT*Q people living in social housing accommodation do not feel a sense of belonging in their local community and over a quarter report feeling lonely in the area they live.
These were the results of the HouseProud Research Project, 'There's No Place Like Home'...? Which was launched by Dr Andrew King of the University of Surrey on Thursday 15th February at City Hall in London, kindly hosted by London Assembly member Tom Copley.
Tom was joined with speakers from across the sector, Stephen Bitti, Resident Board Member at Genesis, along with Group Director of Governance and Compliance at Clarion, Clare Miller, Stonewall Housing's Director of National Engagement Tina Wathern, and the CEO of L&Q, David Montague. HouseProud's John Stevens and Miles Lanham explained the development of the project.
Researchers from the University of Surrey and Goldsmiths, University of London also found that 60 per cent of trans people and more than a third of LGBT*Q people do not feel safe in their neighbourhood.
In the largest study of its kind in the United Kingdom, researchers commissioned by HouseProud and funded by six of the largest housing associations in the country (Clarion Housing Group, Genesis Housing Association, Hanover Housing Association, L&Q, Optivo and The Riverside Group), conducted a series of interviews, focus groups and surveys with more than 260 LGBT*Q people living in social housing to ask them about their experiences.
Harassment of LGBT*Q residents
Harassment and how it was dealt with by housing providers was an issue raised during the study, with many participants reporting feelings of ambivalence on how this was tackled by housing associations and local authorities. It found that 34 per cent of LGBT*Q people felt that housing providers have more work to do in dealing effectively with complaints about harassment and some reported that their complaints were not taken seriously or were investigated very slowly. Asked why they thought this might be, participants believed a lack of understanding of the LGBT*Q community and a high staff turnover and shortage of training were to blame.
Self-censoring their homes
Researchers also found that many LGBT*Q participants were concerned about inviting people into their home who they didn’t know, with 21 per cent being uncomfortable with repairs people and 25 per cent feeling uneasy with their landlord entering their property. A significant number reported changing their home to conceal their gender identity or sexuality, for example moving pictures, books or DVDs. This was more common amongst gay men, with 20 per cent indicating that they did this ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’ when being visited by their landlord or a repairs person.
However, participants did report positive practices by housing providers in engaging with their LGBT*Q tenants. Examples of good practice include some landlords actively listening and putting residents in contact with appropriate support services or organisations. Employing a social inclusion officer or LGBT*Q specific support officer who can listen and act on concerns of residents, and creating a LGBT*Q tenant forum that enables residents to feedback on policy were also viewed as positive steps in engaging with this community.
Dr Andrew King, Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender, who was the lead researcher on the project at the University of Surrey, said:
“Despite changes in equality laws, it is disappointing and worrying that in 2018 a significant number of social housing tenants still feel unsafe and experience harassment in their own neighbourhoods. What we have seen is that many feel that their concerns and complaints are not being given proper attention by housing providers.
“To help address this, social housing providers need to improve the lines of communication between staff and residents, and develop supportive procedures to deal with complaints of abuse and harassment. Housing providers also need to be more openly LGBT*Q supportive, train their staff on a regular basis and as some people we interviewed put it ‘go above and beyond’ the basic requirements of equality legislation. LGBT*Q social housing tenants need to know they are valued tenants who are treated fairly and with respect. “These small steps should help engage LGBT*Q social housing residents and ensure they are a part of the community where they live.”
The Joint Chairs of HouseProud, Kevan Forde and Lynne Nichols said:
“Up to now, social landlords have struggled to hear the voices of LGBT*Q residents. This has led to some confusion in the sector about the concerns and preferences of LGBT*Q residents, particularly in relation to their housing needs.
“HouseProud welcomes the findings of this study and will support housing providers to identify the practical steps that could help to address the issues highlighted in the report. We would like to thank the funding housing associations, who helped to make this study possible and the dozens of other providers, who spread the message about the research.”
Stephen Bitti, Resident Board Member from Genesis Housing Association said:
“This timely research has delivered an important insight into the experiences of LGBT*Q social housing residents. I look forward to ensuring this useful evidence supports ongoing improvements in the services we provide to residents.”
Network Event: January 2018
Modern Families #thekidsarealright
For our first event of 2018 we returned to our friends at Trowers and Hamlins in the City, to discuss everything to do with LGBT people and their families.
The evening steered a line between practical advice, and lived experience, but always celebrated the different families that we build as LGBT people.
Nina Barnsley chaired the evening and explained the work of her organisation the Donor Conception Network. The Network provides advice every step of the way to would-be parents - and has support for every step of the journey - including after a birth with books for the new offspring.
Tim Seward from Clarion Group a longtime HouseProud supporter, explained his work with the Albert Kennedy Trust and how he and his partner foster young people from the Trust.
Georgina Saville-James, herself a partner at Trowers described how she and her partner built their donor-conceived family, and contrasted the approaches of Devon and London.
Nigel Carpenter of Notting Hill Housing gave an interesting perspective about coming out as a gay man after having been in a marriage with a woman and how their children dealt with it. We learned that 'a gay Dad is the ultimate fashion accessory'
Jay Stewart the CEO of Transgendered Intelligence gave a trans man's view of starting a family and life in the 'burbs - and the challenges and choices about being 'out' as trans parents in a more traditional school culture.
It was great to meet Helen Edwards and get a very human view of adoption across the generations - as well as today. Helen spoke of the message of HOPE for people trying to build families.
Michael Newton finished off the panel, speaking about the voluntary group P3 that he set up which helps LGBT people at work find the way to building a family, and has recently finished some pioneering work around trans parenting, and also parenting for people living with HIV.
What an amazing start to the year - and with thanks to all of you who came out on a cold January night, and with thanks again to the generosity of our hosts.
Network Event September 2017:
Launching KIER's LGBT Group
HouseProud - the professional LGBT Network Group for people working in social housing - scored another first this week, as they collaborated to launch a network group for Kier.
Kier are one of the country’s largest builders and work in partnership with a number of housing associations in the UK.
Special guest at the evening was Christine Riley of Balfour Beatty, who gave a moving account of how the network group at Balfour Beatty gave her the confidence to announce her transitioning journey - and has worked hard since then to ensure that LGBT issues are firmly on the agenda at Balfour Beatty.
Kier colleagues were joined by social housing professionals, engineers and building guardians to hear Christina and a special panel offering advice and answering questions about staff network groups. Jan Atkinson of Kier and Roy Morgan and Miles Lanham of Genesis Housing Association were on hand with quick wins and tips.
Bella Seaden from Kier said ‘we really enjoyed the event, and it was great to meet and hear the insight and wisdom from across the sector!’
Network Event: October 2017
Celebrating the B in LGBT!
Kindly hosted by Winkworth Sherwood, HouseProud members had a series of presentations from Bisexual speakers from all walks of life.
Sanisha Wynter spoke passionately about her multiple identities, Abigail Kay told us about launching Bi Pride and how we can help get involved, activist Marcus Morgan gave us the history of Bisexual activism, and HouseProud co-chair Lynne Nicholls and long-term ally Lucy Pedrick shared their life stories to date.
Network Event April 2017 : Healthy Minds
From well-being in the workplace to chem sex in the home, HouseProud explored healthy minds and housing in 2017
Continuing the 2017 programme, with a thought-provoking networking conference, examining how mental health directly impacts on LGBT Staff and clients of social housing and supported schemes – and more importantly looking for solutions. 36 organisations from across the South East came together at the event hosted at Notting Hill Housing in King’s Cross
Sue Sargeant, Director of Housing at Notting Hill identified that frontline staff in housing witness traumatic and upsetting situations on a weekly basis – and the psychological impacts of these are not just switched off at 5pm. She outlined Notting Hill’s approach of support for their teams, whilst acknowledging that 1 in 6 of these colleagues might have a mental health condition. Notting Hill colleague Umaa Thampu demonstrated a mindfulness demonstration which all attendees joined in with, and Courtney Brooke provided a disturbing quiz, challenging perceptions around mental health statistics
Huffington Post Journalist and Mental Health Foundation researcher Cal Strode was shared his research which clearly shows that a cross-sector approach to mental health and early interventions could have significant results to offering support to service-users to manage their conditions. He outlined how with gay men are twice as likely to commit suicide as heterosexual men – and the contributing factors around machismo and perceived ‘straight-acting’ behaviours
The CEO of South West London and St Georges NHS Mental Health Trust, Peter Molyneux explained that the pressures facing the NHS for mental health care reflect come not only from increasing clients and diminishing budgets, but also from attitudes and perceptions of NHS staff. His diagnosis for improvements included a more diverse workforce and a focus to reduce the staffing shortages in the service
Local interventions can have huge outcomes. Patriic Gayle from the Gay Men’s Health Collective responded to the huge amount of gay men engaging in Chem Sex by creating a safe support pack including information, clean syringes, condoms, and dehydration tablets. Demand has increased exponentially, and the packing of the packs has created a support group in its own right for people who find their engagement in ChemSex has got out of control.
Cal Strode said ‘A crucial building block of good mental health for LGBT people is self-acceptance’
Patriic Gayle said ‘Our Chem Sex packs are now distributed to drug support organisations across the UK – but we have to provide them with training on how to engage with the LGBT community’
Peter Molyneux said ‘LGBT patients with mental health issues often experience homophobia and
stigma in NHS hospitals offering to care for them’.
Network Event January 2017:
LGBT Diversity and Housing As We Age.
An extra-care scheme in Brighton, Women-only Cohousing in Barnet, and a proposed LGBT supported housing community showed that the housing sector is beginning to offer innovative customer-focussed options to LGBT customers as they age.
There are a million LGBT people over the age of 50 in the UK today, 45% have experienced discrimination when using social services, and 73% of them are uncomfortable revealing their sexual orientation to support staff.
HouseProud, the network group for people working in social housing, launched its 2017 programme with a lively conference examining solutions to LGBT-affirmative housing. 36 organisations from across the South East came together at the event hosted at Peabody’s headquarters in Lambeth.
Kevan Forde from Hanover Housing revealed plans for an extra care estate being transformed on an existing site on the outskirts of Brighton aiming for a majority LGBT customer base.
Maria Brenton from the Older Women’s CoHousing (OWCH) revealed the involvement in every stage of creating an innovative and self-selecting community created in a purpose-built property in Barnet.
Tonic Housing has lined up the funding to create an LGBT-affirmative community housing scheme for older people, along the lines of the best of similar schemes in Europe and America.
Other imaginative solutions came from Chris Wools at the Cara Trust. They are piloting a scheme of home share, to offer limited care and company for older LGBT people living in properties with an extra bedroom.
Stonewall Housing, are in talks with a major UK City Council to supply LGBT affirmative older persons housing revealed Tina Wathern. Stonewall Housing also will be launching a marque for organisations currently accommodation to older people, showing that they are trained and delivering the best support to their LGBT residents.
Ash Kotak, the playwright and poet showed his passion for creating the first monument in London to those we have lost from HIV and AIDS.
James Greenshields from Tonic Housing said ‘We are united with a great passion to get this project off the ground’. Maria Brenton from OWCH said ‘We were the first user-designed senior cohousing scheme in the UK – we mustn’t be the last!’
Iain Shaw the Head of Older Persons Services at Peabody said ‘as part of Peabody’s commitment to customer service and inclusiveness we carry out detailed consultations with our older residents. I think that the evening has shown that there is a lot more Peabody can do for the older LGBT community’.