Housing

Many people will face housing problems at one time or another lesbian, gay and bisexual people still face discrimination and prejudice.

However there are a series of laws and polices that can protect you. On the next few pages are some details about those laws and organisations that can support you.

Before you seek housing advice think about the problems you are having and the solution you would like.

Albert Kennedy Trust - For young LGB youth who are homeless or living in a hostile environment.
Manchester - 0161 228 3308

Shelterline - Anyone who is homeless or with housing problems.
0808 800 4444 (24hrs, Freephone)

Shelter North West Housing Aid Centre - For anyone in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire or High Peak.
0161 834 4809

Housing Law & Policy

The Equality Act (2010) means councils and housing providers cannot refuse to serve lesbian, gay and bisexual people or offer them a service of lesser quality than that provided to heterosexual people.

Check if your housing provider monitors sexual orientation along with other protected characteristics. Collecting this data will help them understand their service users and tackle potential discrimination and harassment.

The Civil Partnership Act (2004) extends matrimonial rights to registered civil partners in areas of property disputes and housing succession as well as benefits, pensions, children and inheritance.

There have been many acts of Parliament concerning housing and homelessness over the last 30 years, as well as numerous case law, which all impact on the housing needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual residents. These include anti-social behaviour, the right to buy and more. Councils should have information on how they allocate housing and how you apply.

Please be aware that if you are homeless and need emergency accommodation, you will need to make a separate application.

Homelessness

If you are homeless or think you are about to become homeless, you will need to contact your local authority. You can also get more help and support from Shelter and Stonewall Housing.

If you are a young person, aged 16-25 check out The Albert Kennedy Trust.

www.shelter.org.uk
www.stonewallhousing.org
www.akt.org.uk

Issues paying your accommodation costs

If you are having issues paying your mortgage or rent, then please speak to your mortgage lender or landlord at the earliest opportunity, so you can agree a payment plan. Do not ignore any payment problems as you may lose your home and end up with a poor credit history, which could affect your chances of a mortgage or tenancy later.

Again, you can receive further information from Directgov or Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

www.directgov.uk
www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Neighbour Nuisance

If you are having issues with your neighbours, you can go to your local council website, Directgov or your housing association and there will be guidance as what to do.

Keep a log of all incidents and report it, either to the police or via a third-party reporting centre such as LGF. Include copies of all letters etc in your incident log.

www.directgov.uk
www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Issues with your landlord

Sometimes you can experience problems with your landlord; there are very clear rules and regulations for landlords and tenants. For further help and support around this, go to either Directgov or CAB.

www.directgov.uk
www.citizensadvice.org.uk

August 2011