Clarion Housing Group has been accredited with the highest possible Pledge Status by HouseProud, the network group for LGBTQ+ people working in social housing.
The HouseProud Pledge Scheme was created as a response to the outcomes of the research ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ which was delivered in partnership with The University of Sussex. The scheme was designed after a series of residents’ focus groups and also reflects key themes in the Social Housing Green Paper, including resident voice, accountability and engagement between landlords and residents.
Clarion Housing Group has supported the Pledge scheme since its inception, co-funding and providing resource to it.
To become a ‘Pledge Pioneer’ signatories are asked to agree to three core commitments:
- Ensure that LGBTQ+ residents can have input at executive/ strategic level;
- Increase LGBTQ+ visibility through use of the Pledge Pioneer symbol; and
- Initiate a programme of staff training to improve understanding of LGBTQ+ lives.
To achieve ‘Pledge Plus status’ organisations, working with involved LGBTQ+ residents, agree particular objectives for their own organisation.
Clarion was one of two housing associations to achieve Pledge Plus status and secured this by actively working its involved LGBTQ+ residents on issues they chose to explore and review. The group agreed that they wanted to look at the organisation’s Hate Crime policies and its approach to Hate Crime. As such, a focus group was held with members and an action plan drawn up. Working with Clarion’s staff, research was carried out to identify services available in the areas Clarion works in and how to signpost to them. They contacted all 45 police forces in the UK to get copies of their hate crime policies and reviewed Clarion’s policies and procedures on anti-social behaviour and Hate Crime. Following this work, a new approach was developed and published, which better reflected the experience and needs of LGBTQ+ people.
Lynne Nicholls, Co-chair of Clarion’s LGBTQ+ staff network group, commented: “We are delighted the Group has achieved the highest possible pledge status – true recognition of the hard work our residents LGBTQ+ group and the LGBTQ+ staff network have done over the years to drive equality and to understand how the business can best support its LGBTQ+ customers and people.”
Daniel Duggan, Resident Involvement Officer at Clarion, led on the work with residents and added: “It was fantastic to be able to work closely with residents to deliver real outcomes to improve the way services are provided for LGBTQ+ residents. It is important to us that they feel safe and supported and to be free to be who they are when coming in to contact with us.”