REF 2021 case study: Surrey research creates UK first with HouseProud Pledge Scheme for LGBTQ+ communities
Research at the University of Surrey has helped to improve housing policy and organisational practice for LGBTQ+ people.
Professor Andrew King (Department of Sociology) secured UKRI funding for a knowledge exchange action research project, called Housing with Pride, to develop, launch and track the impact of the HouseProud Pledge Scheme – the UK’s first LGBTQ+ housing equality charter.
This collaborative work was undertaken through consultations and knowledge exchange events with senior housing staff, frontline housing workers and LGBTQ+ residents.
Research conducted by the University over the years 2015-2020 showed that LGBTQ+ people have substantial concerns about safety, belonging, and community in relation to their housing, often feeling they are marginalised or ignored by multiple housing and support agencies.
These projects demonstrated that housing organisations need inclusive policies and services, to take practical steps to listen to and work with LGBTQ+ residents, whilst LGBTQ+ organisations need to do more to advocate and support them.
The research has provided an evidence base for LGBTQ+ support organisations, who directly assist LGBTQ+ people, educate housing staff and influence and shape the development of new social housing schemes and those aimed at older LGBTQ+ people.
To date, 15 social housing organisations have signed up to the Scheme, representing 1.5m residents and 1m housing units.
The research has also provided an evidence base for LGBTQ+ support organisations including Stonewall Housing, Opening Doors London and Tonic Living.
Clarion Housing Group, the UK’s largest social housing provider, endorses the HouseProud Pledge Scheme, which enables LGBTQ+ residents to have an input in decision-making and secures a commitment to staff training.