To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
(1) what his policy is on steps to ensure that mainstream housing providers are aware of the (a) needs and (b) rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people who are homeless;
(2) with which organisations his Department is working to develop best practice guidance for protecting tenants subject to homophobic and transphobic harassment;
(3) what steps his Department is taking to reduce levels of homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people.
Social housing providers have a legal requirement to ensure that they comply with the Equality Act 2010, including in relation to sexual orientation. In addition, all social housing providers who are registered with the social housing regulator are compelled through its standards framework to respond to and demonstrate that they understand the different and diverse needs of their tenants.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has contact with organisations, such as Stonewall and the Albert Kennedy Trust, who provide advice and guidance on meeting the housing needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Guidance produced by both organisations on working with homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people is available on the Department's National Youth Homelessness Scheme website. The Chartered Institute of Housing has also recently published advice for housing associations on how to provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender tenants. The Department is working with the Chartered Institute of Housing to develop new best practice guidance for social landlords on preventing and tackling antisocial behaviour, including protecting tenants who are subject to homophobic harassment and hate crime.