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Network Homes concludes Pride month by signing up to HouseProud Pledge

Leading housing association Network Homes has signed up to the HouseProud Pledge, a scheme designed to ensure Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ+) residents are able to enjoy their homes without fear of discrimination.

The HouseProud Pledge was developed by HouseProud (a network for LGBT+ people working in social housing) and the University of Surrey. By signing up to the Pledge, Network Homes is committing to improve its housing services for LGBTQ+ residents and is expected to deliver on three core commitments within the first year.

The three commitments are:

  • Ensuring LGBTQ+ residents have an input at an executive/strategic level
  • Increasing LGBTQ+ visibility through the use of the Pledge symbol
  • Initiating a programme of staff training to improve understanding of LGBTQ+ lives.

The HouseProud Pledge follows the publication of the University of Surrey’s ‘No Place Like Home’ study, the largest of its kind in the UK, to understand the experiences, concerns and preferences of LGBTQ+ social housing residents. The study found a third of LGBTQ+ residents felt their neighbourhood was not a safe place to live and a third of survey respondents felt their landlord was not able to deal effectively with issues like harassment. Shockingly, a fifth of gay men reported that they regularly modify their home if visited by their housing officer or a repairs person to make their sexual orientation less visible (e.g. moving pictures, books and DVDs).

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We are very pleased to support the HouseProud Pledge this Pride month. We want to take our LGBTQ+ residents’ views on board and for their voices to be heard at the highest levels. We encourage other housing associations to join us and sign up to the Pledge so they too can ensure every LGBTQ+ resident feels supported at home.

Helen Evans, Chief Executive of Network Homes

Jamie Ratcliff, Executive Director for Business Performance and Partnerships and Network’s Executive Lead for Diversity, commented: “Everyone should be able to be themselves at home and at work. As one of the first housing associations to sign up to the HouseProud pledge we are sending a clear message to all our residents and staff on how important this is to us. By listening carefully and responding to residents from all communities we can continue to improve as an organisation.” 

Phil Lyon, Chair of Network Homes Hertford Local Resident Panel, said: “It’s good to see Network Homes showing its commitment by signing up to the ‘Houseproud pledge’ scheme.  It helps provide a voice for all residents by ensuring an inclusive environment of equality and diversity for everyone. So it shows all residents are represented and can start to feel there is no place like home.”

Francis Haydon, Chair of the Network Homes London Local Resident Panel, said “By becoming HouseProud Pledge Pioneers and committing to achieve Pledge Plus certification, Network Homes is setting the standard. It's a lot easier to talk about the importance of LGBTQ+ issues than it is to deliver real support, equality and inclusiveness, and I'm proud to have the opportunity to work with Network Homes and other residents to do that in a concrete and meaningful way.”

Network Homes has recently been commended for its approach to Equality and Diversity, with its Equality and Diversity Engagement Group (EDEG) winning ‘Best Team’ at the Housing Heroes Awards. The group focuses on fostering an inclusive environment for staff and residents and they are helping to support Network in achieving the Pledge commitments. They have organised educational and celebratory events such as Black History Month, International Women’s Day and LGBT History Month.