Sexual Exclusion: Issues and Best Practice in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Housing and Homelessness

By: Deborah Gold  Published: March 2005


This guidance was developed as part of a joint project between Shelter and Stonewall Housing. The partnership project aims to raise awareness of the significant housing and homelessness problems that lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people experience.

Summary

The following includes some of the key problems LGB people face related to housing:

  • young people thrown out of home because of their sexuality
  • young people suffer physical and verbal harassment inside and outside the home
  • older people needing care or sheltered accommodation and finding themselves marginalised or ostracised
  • all ages subjected to homophobic harassment and violence inside and outside the home
  • people suffering same-sex domestic violence, with no appropriate emergency housing provision.

Most local authorities and housing providers do not monitor the sexuality of clients. Therefore they do not have a clear picture of how much of a problem there is nor how well they respond to client needs.

The Government quotes that between five and seven per cent of the population is lesbian, gay or bisexual. A significant proportion of LGB people suffering housing problems slip through the net because providers are not trained to consider sexuality when assessing clients needs.

One aim of the project is to encourage and support housing providers in recognising and responding to these specific needs of the LGB community, and to take a strategic approach to providing for these needs. A vital factor in taking this approach will be to form a picture of the pattern and depth of need, and asess the resources currently available to deal with this need. Equalities monitoring has long been recognised as a method of gaining this information; however, equalities monitoring of sexuality, in particular, rarely takes place.

This guidance looks at the context for these issues, including previous reports and research. It goes on to set out the main housing problems that LGB people face. Some of these problems are age-related, while others affect all LGB people.

The guidance focuses on harassment and homophobic violence, and same-sex domestic violence. It includes suggestions on how to combat these problems, with details about why monitoring is important.

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