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Housing and homelessness support

Housing

Whether we’re looking for a pad, a bijou flat, or a show home, most of us want a place we can call our own. It‘s where we eat, sleep, relax, invite friends and have sex so, in many ways, it’s the cornerstone of our lives.

When we’re younger, we tend to move around but we still need a base but, as we get older, many of us want a home whether we’re by ourselves, living in a house or getting to grips with living with someone.

Some of us are forced to leave the family home or have found ourselves in vulnerable and/ and dangerous situations which is why LGBT+ organisations like the Albert Kennedy Trust and Stonewall Housing are needed, today more than ever.

Housing and homelessness are complex (way above our pay-grade at MEN R US) so apart from some tips if you're looking to rent we’ve pulled together details of specialist organisations who should be able to help if/ when you need it.

"Every year, thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people contact Stonewall Housing for help and advice. Most tell us that the housing problems they're facing are related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Today, many more LGBT people are having to rent their homes from a private landlord, thanks to a lack of affordable housing and because local authorities have a requirement to discharge their duty to house only the people in most acute need. But how safe is the private rented sector for LGBT people?

For many, it simply isn't. Even though LGBT people living in private rental accommodation are more likely to be in full-time employment, more than 40% tell us they still feel insecure in their homes or are facing eviction. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not just private issues, they are at the core of someone's identity. Unfortunately, LGBT people still face daily harassment and abuse simply because of who they are. Sometimes, that abuse comes from a landlord.

Gay residents may also face discrimination from neighbours or those who they share a home with. They may have to deal with inappropriate language from letting agents, and landlords have even told potential renters that they are not welcome because they may upset other tenants.

Safety is one issue, and security of tenure is another. Tenancy agreements tend to be weighted in favour of the landlord: for LGBT tenants, this can mean their housing is even more insecure. If an LGBT tenant is being abused, and is unable to leave because of the length of notice period, they can become effectively imprisoned within their home."

Extract from Making the private rented sector a safe space free from prejudice | The Guardian | 23 Oct 2012

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