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To address the serious housing situation affecting the LGBTQ+ community, all housing organisations must – by December 2020 – implement a programme of training to enable a better understanding of the housing needs of LGBTQ+ people. This is the headline recommendation of a new report from World Habitat – published today – Wednesday 20 June 2018.

The report – Left Out: Why many LGBTQ+ people aren’t accessing their right to housing in the UK – presents research, evidence and case studies which highlight the disproportionate number of housing issues faced by LGBTQ+ people. These cause high-levels of hardship and discrimination but are mostly ignored. Left Out examines the impact of this with a specific focus on older people; those experiencing domestic violence; asylum seekers and refugees; and those who are homeless.

The situation is serious. While one in 20 (five – seven per cent) of the UK population are Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual, one in four young homeless people in urban areas are estimated to be LGBTQ+. Almost half of all gay and bi men have experienced domestic abuse from a family member or partner since the age of 16. Half of older LGBTQ+ people are concerned about revealing their sexuality or gender identity in specialist housing. And as homosexuality is still illegal in 72 countries many LGBTQ+ people are forced to seek asylum elsewhere.

Alongside training and awareness-raising, other key actions which will help implement improved targeted and pro-active support for LGBTQ+ include:

  • focused research and knowledge-transfer;
  • time and resources for community action;
  • policy amendments to create positive change;
  • attention to diversity; and
  • different services working together.

Mariangela Veronesi, Author of Left Out and Head of Programme at World Habitat, said:

“Far too many LGBTQ+ people do not have the safe homes that they are entitled to. The disproportionate numbers who are homeless or vulnerable to abuse and attacks is shocking and must be addressed immediately.

“We hope this report will guide the housing sector and wider society to better understand a community that has been left out of current narratives and solutions. Once again, we are reminded that we are far from providing the Right to Housing for all, but also that we can and must have a part in helping to achieve this.”

Bob Green, Chief Executive at Stonewall Housing, said:

“I have been incredibly impressed by World Habitat’s approach since we started engaging with them a couple of years ago. I have been encouraged by their eagerness to meet staff, volunteers and service users to understand the specific housing issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning people.

“I wholeheartedly welcome this report because it draws attention to the need to understand our communities’ housing needs better and to improve the housing services on offer to people who are desperate for safe housing where they can celebrate their identity and achieve their full potential.”

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