As a result of 'coming out' to parents, family or friends, young LGB people may be wholly or partially rejected by their family of origin and ejected from the family home (O'Connor and Malloy 2001, Weeks et al. 2001) Sixteen and seventeen year olds are particularly vulnerable when they do not have independent financial means or access to social security benefit.
Evidence from Triangle Wales and Stonewall Cymru's housing report, From outside to inside, found at least one student in a house share, with students previously unknown to them, who became homeless on having to leave due to homophobic harassment. Rivers and Taulke-Johnson (2002), also describe harassment against LGB students living in Halls of Residence, leading to housing crisis.
Research indicates incidences of secondary victimisation once LGB people apply for assistance with homelessness or housing crisis from providers and other clients, due to re-homing that is not sensitive to their needs (O'Connor and Malloy 2001, Spark 2005, in press, Shelter 2005),
Stonewall Cymru calls for the operation of 'sensitive allocation policies' for LGB people. Further, that service providers in local authorities or housing associations become adept at ensuring vulnerable LGB people are not moved from a damaging housing situation, to accommodation where harassment is likely to happen again.
There is a need for LGB specific accommodation, and for young lesbian women to be given an option of being housed in women's accommodation.
Landlords should take steps to ensure that LGB people feel safe in communal areas of shared housing as well as in their own rooms. LGB people must reassured that complaints of homophobic treatment will be taken seriously, and young LGB people must feel confident in making a complaint, and that re-homing may be offered.
O'Connor, W. and Malloy, D. (2001) ''Hidden in Plain Sight": Homelessness Amongst Lesbian and Gay Youth, London: National Centre for Social Research
Rivers, I. & Taulke-Johnson, R.A. (2002) Listening to lesbian, gay and bisexual students on campus: Experiences of living in university accommodation, Journal of institutional Research, 11 (2), pp. 14-23.
Weeks, J, Donovan, C. and Heaphy, B. (2001) Same Sex Intimacies and other life experiments, London: Taylor and Francis