The LLCHC has launched a Manifesto today with recommendations on how to improve LGBTIQA+ community housing in London
BY HARRIET ARGENT, IMAGE BY ARON VAN DE POL FOR UNSPLASH
The London LGBTIQA+ Community Housing Coalition (LLCHC) has today publicly launched their Manifesto containing recommended actions for the next Mayor of London.
The Manifesto comes as part of the LLCHC’s engagement with mayoral candidates ahead of the election campaign next month and contains seven key recommendations that will make a significant difference to the lives of the most disadvantaged LGBTQIA+ people in the Capital.
The recommendations include creating an LGBTIQA+ Housing Strategy for London as well as plans to work with local councils to build a city-wide support pathway of access to accommodation and support services for LGBTIQA people.
The LLCHC is made up of seven community housing and campaigning organisations, including Stonewall, Stonewall Housing, Consortium, Albert Kennedy Trust (akt), Micro Rainbow, Outside Project and Tonic Housing, who have recently been given the green light to begin work on opening the UK’s first LGBTQI retirement community.
CEO of the organisation, Anna Kear, said they were proud to be part of creating the manifesto.
“Through our frontline community housing services and support, we are very aware of the real issues that many LGBTIQA+ people in London face. Working together, we’ve created this Manifesto to address the changes that we need to see, and help bring down the barriers that cause them, by raising awareness and working with the key organisations to make these positive changes.”
Why is this needed?
The number of LGBTIQA+ specific community housing bed spaces in London currently stands at just 77, showing the stark lack of provision for this type of community housing. It also reflects a misunderstanding of the specific issues, needs and disadvantages LGBTIQA+ people face.
Nearly one in five LGBTIQA+ people, including 25% of trans people and 28% of LGBTIQA+ disabled people, have experienced homelessness at some point in their life, and one-quarter of young people experiencing homelessness today identify as LGBTIQA+.
In addition, 25% of older LGBTIQA+ people living in London have a disability or health issue requiring specific housing, 57% of which say they have had no care or support provision, and 64% say their existing housing did not meet their needs.
The pandemic has not helped things either, with charity akt reporting a 118% increase in new referrals of young homeless LGBTIQA+ people to their services and 50% of older Londoners reporting a decrease in their psychological wellbeing.
Matt Horwood, Director of Communications and Campaigns at akt, said working with the LLCHC has enabled them to raise awareness of the disadvantages LGBTIQA+ people in London encounter but also to identify tangible solutions.
“As London navigates through a post-Covid landscape, the recommendations outlined in this manifesto for the next mayor are as timely as ever,” he said, “It is our hope that we can work constructively with the next Mayor of London, to implement these recommended actions which will, undoubtedly better the lives of all LGBTIQA+ people in the capital.”
The LLCHC’s manifesto can be read in full here.
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