The scheme aims to encourage social housing providers to improve services for LGBT residents and make sure they promote inclusivity consistently. It was developed in association with L&Q residents, staff members and senior leaders, and with their counterparts across the country.
We helped fund the project and our Chief Executive, David Montague, has helped get support from senior leaders in housing.
“Real change can only be achieved together,” he said. “On behalf of L&Q’s LGBT staff and residents, I invite all our housing sector colleagues to join this important cause.
We are committed to ensuring all our people can enjoy a diverse and inclusive environment to live and work in. To feel at home is to be yourself.”
Housing providers who sign up to the scheme commit themselves to improving their housing services for LGBT residents. In particular, they will give LGBT residents input at a strategic level and train their staff to understand LGBT lives better.
There is a second, higher status, known as Pledge Plus, where landlords work with their involved LGBT residents to set specific extra goals. This is what we will aim for.
The pledge card scheme was launched by HouseProud and the University of Surrey on 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. HouseProud is the network of LGBT people who work in social housing, which we helped to found.
The scheme follows a study called No Place Like Home, which reported that LGBT people still experience discrimination in their everyday lives, including in relation to housing in some cases.
Nearly 50 per cent of LGBT people say they don’t feel a sense of belonging in their local community, it found. Many also hide pictures or books to conceal their gender identity or sexuality if they are visited by their landlord or repairs person.
The pledge card scheme also has the backing of the Mayor of London.
Our LGBT resident forum will be working with us and with HouseProud on the pledge card scheme. If you would like to know more about the forum, please drop us a line at email@example.com.