Pride isn’t just for June: what next for LGBTQ+ people and housing?
June, Pride Month internationally, has come and gone once again and we’re seeing all the large corporations changing their logos back to their regular branding. The rainbow flags are metaphorically packed away for another year. Of course, this is a rather cynical perspective, but I think it is probably reasonable to say that for some, not all, it is another marketing gimmick.
When we started doing our equality, diversity, and inclusion work at CaCHE, one of the underlying objectives was that we embed good EDI principles throughout everything we do. This wasn’t a tick-box exercise.
The issues that arise when embarking on EDI work can be incredibly complex, and we recognise that we don’t necessarily have the expertise in-house to do the work justice. However, we can be a platform to share research, experiences, and good practice. With this in mind, we launched our Pride Month campaign not to jump on the bandwagon but to use it as a springboard to shine a light on the excellent work that’s happening at the moment, and to help build new relationships to continue to take this work forward collaboratively. Overall, we felt this was achieved and are now connected with people we hadn’t previously worked with.
The blogs from over the month covered several different key issues from a number of different perspectives. Of course, the story isn’t a complete one and we have a lot of work to do to continue building trust and relationships so that more stories can be shared, and we need to continue to understand and explore people’s housing experiences and futures through different lenses to account for intersections of identity.
What this month did highlight, however, is that whilst we have some data about LGBTQ+ people and housing and homelessness, there are some significant methodological challenges with these statistics, such as sampling from disproportionately queer urban centres or where some examples of homelessness, such as sofa surfing for example, might be omitted.
We know that familial discrimination is a significant cause of many young LGBTQ+ people becoming homeless. We also know that precarious housing situations will continue to lead to poor outcomes for people. Housing providers play a key role in helping, and there’s examples of training and support, as well as coalitions of housing providers coming together to help support both LGBTQ+ staff and tenants. There’s also a role we can play in helping to inform policymakers about the significance of such issues and the impact that ignoring LGBTQ+ homelessness will have and governments need to explicitly define LGBTQ+ homelessness as a social problem if they don’t already.
And while a lot of the content we shared did focus on LGBTQ+ people and homelessness, there’s also evidence of inequality and discrimination in other sectors, including welfare provision, the PRS and home ownership. And while youth homelessness is a serious issue that needs tackling, we also can’t forget our older LGBTQ+ population and their housing needs too, especially those who rely on care support.
We know that there’s significant work to do to ensure more equitable housing futures for all LGBTQ+ people. But, to end on an optimistic note, we know there’s communities of people within the housing sector and academia doing positive work and sharing their experiences, such as Rainbow Roofs. Being able to partner with groups like this as part of our work helps to understand different experiences, and by working together, we can help to share ideas and solutions to build a housing system that works for everyone.
There’s still more to come, so keep an eye out for future blogs on this topic. We will also continue our EDI work going forward through the Equality in Housing podcast, our blog series and future campaigns. To help us deliver this work, we would love to hear your thoughts. We have set up a short survey where you can share your thoughts and ideas for the future.
Date: July 12, 2023 4:42 pm
Author(s): Gareth Young
Categorised in: Equality Diversity & Inclusion