City West starts work on innovative housing scheme for LGBT people in Salford
City West Housing Trust has started work on a new housing scheme for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Salford.
The £1.4 million development in Broughton is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, and will create 14 apartments for LGBT people who may be facing difficult circumstances.
City West, which is part of the ForViva Group, has worked closely with Salford City Council and the LGBT Foundation on the development, which will provide safe and secure homes for LGBT people, including those in danger of being made homeless.
Stonewall Housing, which provides housing support, advice and advocacy for the LGBT community, has seen approaches from LGBT people more than triple in the last five years, including some who were actually homeless.
A recent study from the LGBT Foundation and Manchester City Council found access to affordable, accessible housing where they can be open about their identity is a key issue for LGBT people.
Salford City Partnership’s Equality Strategy claims that Salford had up to 8,100 LGBT residents in 2015. It said that 11% of all hate crimes and hate incidents in the city were motivated by homophobia.
Colette McKune, Group Deputy Chief Executive at ForViva, said: “We all have the right to be able to access a secure home and feel safe in their community.
“It has become clear that some LGBT people in Salford were facing incredibly tough choices on where to live, or even homelessness because their circumstances had left them with nowhere to turn for alternative housing.
“This scheme will go some way to addressing that challenge and will allow people to improve their situations and live independently.”
Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of the Manchester LGBT Foundation, said:
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people can still face considerable discrimination within social housing services which can result in feelings of exclusion and isolation.
“I welcome today’s announcement about this ground-breaking scheme which recognises that LGBT people are an integral part of society and make a tremendous contribution to the identity of modern Salford.
“I very much look forward to working with City West and the ForViva Group on ensuring that the needs of their LGBT residents are better met.”
Tina Wathern, Director of National Engagement for Stonewall Housing, said:
“Home is a particularly important space for LGBT people, it is where they feel safe. We welcome schemes like the one proposed in Salford by City West and know that it will make a positive contribution to housing for LGBT people.”
Councillor Tracy Kelly, Lead Member for Housing and Neighbourhoods at Salford City Council, said:
“Everyone needs a good quality, safe home. LGBT people have often experienced intolerance and harassment and felt that they could not be their true selves. I’m delighted they will now have the security and comfort they want and wish them many long and happy years in their new homes.”
The homes will be available for affordable rent and are being built with funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.
Watson Homes has been appointed as developer for the scheme, which is due to be completed in winter 2018.