In theory, those at risk of violence should be considered in priority need, but a report by Crisis pdf found that in practice these guidelines are not always followed correctly. LGBT housing services devastated by austerity cuts Read more The Localism Act , meanwhile, gave councils more power to restrict access to social housing. The coming housing benefit changes will force more LGBT young people to risk their safety for a roof over their heads. Out in the cold: Michael Nastari, housing advice manager at Stonewall,said: One young trans person spoke of the difficulties of going through gender transition while living in a hostel, a place with little privacy, telling me: Meanwhile, many other voluntary organisations that support LGBT people, including counselling and mental health services, are also struggling because of funding cuts.
One way that access is controlled is through a application of the local connection policy — defined as being resident for at least six months in the area during the previous 12 months, or for not less than three years during the previous five-year period. Changes in eligibility for housing benefit are transforming the rights of younger homeless people to access a place of their own. Just having a shower in a day centre can be risky for a trans person pdf. LGBT housing services devastated by austerity cuts Read more The Localism Act , meanwhile, gave councils more power to restrict access to social housing. This causes particular difficulties for young trans homeless people. It is already difficult for LGBT homeless people who do not feel safe in their family home or home town to relocate. One young trans person spoke of the difficulties of going through gender transition while living in a hostel, a place with little privacy, telling me: Research by Peter Mackie for Crisis identified a clear trend of local authorities restricting services to those with a local connection , with no consideration given to the impact on those excluded, who often remain in their current location without accessing housing help rather than returning to their previous local authority. Michael Nastari, housing advice manager at Stonewall,said: In theory, those at risk of violence should be considered in priority need, but a report by Crisis pdf found that in practice these guidelines are not always followed correctly. These reforms began with a rule that most people under 35 can only claim housing benefit for a bedroom in a shared house. The cumulative effect of cuts on a range of services are disproportionately affecting LGBT homeless people. While local authorities in England and Wales have a duty of care to provide housing for people who fall into the category of priority need , the majority of single homeless people do not come under this category pdf. This trend is exemplified by the closure of the long established LGBT mental health charity Pace earlier this year. They are more likely to have additional support needs pdf related to mental health and substance misuse, but hostels are finding it increasingly difficult to provide accommodation and support for people with medium to high support needs. Follow us on Twitter GuardianHousing and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest social housing news and views. Recent government changes to housing benefit policy are further exacerbating homelessness and housing problems among this group. Out in the cold: Meanwhile, many other voluntary organisations that support LGBT people, including counselling and mental health services, are also struggling because of funding cuts. As well as coping with the experiences common to other young homeless people of finding shelter and support, young LGBT people faced additional hardships. Many homeless applicants are thereby being referred back to the council of their previous residence. While conducting sociological research in a London day centre, I saw many cases of young LGBT people leaving their homes because of discrimination or homophobic abuse from family and friends. Transphobia and homophobia can be an issue pdf in temporary housing. The coming housing benefit changes will force more LGBT young people to risk their safety for a roof over their heads. Join the Guardian Housing Network to read more pieces like this.
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