You’ve probably heard about HouseProud by now, as we have become much talked-about over the past few months. HouseProud is the free and volunteer-run network group for LGBT people working in social housing. We combine our passion for improving service delivery for LGBT residents, alongside a thriving sector-wide colleague network. We specialise in supporting professional development and best practice. HouseProud connects 59 housing and care-providers across the south-east, midlands and east of England. We’ve also got a sister-group in the north-west and others are coming soon.
HouseProud takes a collaborative approach and seeks to engage as many housing providers as possible. This provides effective networking and support for smaller organisations who don’t have enough LGBT staff to form their own network. It provides safe space for LGBT people who aren’t comfortable being themselves in their workplace.
This year, we partnered with the University of Surrey commissioning ground-breaking research, ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ focussing on LGBT Residents’ perceptions of their landlords, the inclusivity of their service, and feelings about their homes and communities. Our survey contacted 300 residents via different media channels and remains the largest piece of work of its kind. This research was endorsed by the Mayor of London’s housing department, who insisted that we launch it at London’s City Hall.
Our follow-up project, will develop a series of resident-led pledges based on the research. Social landlords will be challenged to sign-up to these, and demonstrate their commitment to improving LGBT inclusivity. This work has quickly gained the support of leading figures across the sector, notably the CEOs of L&Q and Metropolitan.
HouseProud provides a year-round programme of lively and informative network evenings featuring LGBT and housing topics. These have included LGBT Parenting, Mental Health, LGBT Housing for Older People, and special evenings looking at Bisexual People and Trans lives. HouseProud also co-ordinated a cross-sector International Women’s Day event. There really will be something interesting and relevant to you. Learning from these events is captured on our website, providing resources and links for you. This year we’ll have our first conference in partnership with the housing BAME network which will focus on careers and mentoring.
We keep strong links with other professional networks like Planning Out and regulators/trade bodies like the CiH, National Federation and the Department of Housing. We even published a response to the Mayor of London’s Housing Plan!
HouseProud co-ordinates a strong presence for staff, residents and allies at Pride in London and other local Pride celebrations. Hiring a bus co-funded by the larger organisations again demonstrates inclusivity for the sector, and allows people from any social housing providers as well as residents to celebrate Pride with colleagues from across the sector.
We’d love you to join too – all you need to do is drop us an email via our website
…and we’ll pop you on our mailing list. The only criteria is that you have to be currently working in the social housing sector.