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HouseProud Pledge

Posted27.06.24

HouseProud Pledge

We are proud to announce that we have officially signed the HouseProud Pledge. To ensure equality and support for LGBTQIA+ residents within our community.

What is the HouseProud Pledge?

HouseProud, established in 2014, is a network for LGBTQIA+ people in the social housing sector. It brings together housing associations, ALMOs, local authorities, and care providers to offer networking opportunities for LGBTQIA+ staff members and to campaign for LGBTQIA+ related issues.

In 2017, HouseProud commissioned the University of Surrey to investigate the experiences of LGBTQIA+ social housing residents. The resulting report, ‘No Place Like Home?’ highlighted several critical challenges faced by these residents and led to the creation of the Pledge Scheme.

The University of Surrey’s report revealed that LGBTQIA+ people are disproportionately represented in homelessness statistics. With one in five LGBTQIA+ people having experienced hate crimes. 32% of those asked did not feel safe in their neighbourhoods—a figure that rises to 60% among trans individuals. Additionally, one in eight LGBTQIA+ people have been attacked by a colleague or customer at work.

 

Our commitment

By signing the HouseProud Pledge, we are actively committing to improve our housing services for LGBTQIA+ residents. We will deliver on three core commitments within the first year:

  • Ensuring that LGBTQIA+ residents have a voice at the executive and strategic levels of our organisation.
  • Actively promoting LGBTQIA+ visibility within our organisation.
  • Providing specific training for our staff to improve understanding of LGBTQIA+ lives.

A message from Pamela Newman, Director of Operations

“At Evolve we strive to make sure we have an inclusive culture for both our customers and colleagues. By signing the Pledge it will give us the opportunity to really focus in on what more we can do to achieve this. So far we have shared tips for promoting LGBTQIA+ Inclusion with both our customers and colleagues. We intend to set up a customer LGBTQIA+ group that will work at a strategic level to inform our approach going forward. In the first meeting we will agree a senior manager sponsor. We are seeking new training that specifically focuses on supporting LGBTQIA+ people in housing. Obviously, there is still lots more we need to do but the specific action will come from developing groups and networks.”

What we are doing to do to achieve our Pledge:

We have already talked to all of our service managers about the pledge at our managers meeting on the 13th June. We have asked our managers to return to their services and engage with our customers and colleagues to encourage their involvement. The actions that came from this are:

  • Increase visibility – through greater use of flags, stickers, badges, lanyards and events all year round.
  • Customer Voice – setting up a LGBTQIA+ customer voice to hear suggestions, concerns and feedback. We are currently looking for customers who would be interested in joining.
  • Partnerships – better sign posting, sharing external organisations and support services.
  • Education – raising awareness of role models through knowledge sharing on notice boards of LGBTQIA+ pioneers and storytelling both internally and externally.
  • Safety – focussing on reporting of incidents and reviewing actions taken are in line with our processes and procedures. As well as promoting a culture of challenging discrimination
  • Systems and tech – greater use of pronouns on email signatures and potentially on colleague ID badges. Encouraging use of pronouns on Inform, our resident record management system.

 We believe that signing the HouseProud Pledge is an important step in creating an inclusive environment where all residents can live without fear or discrimination. Our commitment to the Pledge ensures that LGBTQIA+ people will have a say in our decision-making processes, see their identities represented and respected throughout our organisation, and benefit from our colleagues’ increased understanding and sensitivity through targeted training.

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