Research carried out by Stonewall Cymru and Triangle Wales reveals serious gaps in housing provision for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people. Researchers revealed that homophobia was a significant cause of housing problems yet housing providers lack awareness of LGB housing needs. The Housing Needs of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People in Wales report will be discussed at the Stonewall Cymru Annual Conference on Saturday 8 April at County Hall, Cardiff. The report is due to be launched in the summer.
Dr Alison Parken, Director, Stonewall Cymru says, 'This research demonstrates the vulnerability of young lesbian, gay and bisexual people who have been thrown out of their home when they 'come out' to family members. Many feel unable to discuss the reasons behind being made homeless for fear of further discrimination, and may then be deemed to have made themselves intentionally homeless. From that point they do not have access to help.'
A respondent to the research from Mid Wales said of his experiences with a housing provider, 'You tell someone you're gay and that person may be very sympathetic, but the next person who you're dealing with may not and it will go against you.'
Dr Parken added, 'We are calling on local authorities, landlords and other housing providers to demonstrate a zero tolerance policy on homophobia and introduce a comprehensive policy that looks at the specific needs of LGB people.'
Dr Dani Boucher, South East Wales Co-ordinator, Triangle Wales says, 'The next stage, following this research, is to develop a toolkit and training programme that will enable housing service providers to recognise and address the needs of LGB people in Wales.'
Stonewall Cymru's Conference theme is 'Are You Being? - Fair treatment in Health, Housing, Education & Employment' and Stonewall Cymru are inviting LGB people in Wales to discuss how to make newly won provisions in the Equality Bill, giving protection against discrimination in goods and services, work in Wales. It will also be an opportunity to celebrate the huge legislative changes in lesbian, gay and bisexual equality over the last 4 years, including:
Actors will provide small vignettes of the everyday incidences of inequality in health, housing, education and workplace settings, to set the scene for participant discussions.
For more details about the conference, and to book your place, please visit www.stonewallcymru.org.uk or call 029 20 237744
Notes for Editors
1. For more information about interviewees and case studies contact Matthew Batten at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 029 20 237744 Or contact Dani Boucher from Triangle Wales at email@example.com or telephone 029 20 453030
2. Stonewall Cymru is the all Wales lesbian, gay and bisexual campaign group. www.stonewallcymru.org.uk
3. The Equality Bill gives lesbian, gay and bisexual people protection from discrimination in the provision of goods and services and will be implemented by October 2006.