The first HouseProud Customer Conference took place earlier in the year where residents from across the north west were invited to take part in an interactive and engaging event. We received valuable feedback and suggestions identified by customers which will form the group’s next steps. The responses from the conference are outlined below.
How can we improve priorities?
- More staff training to ensure they know and understand issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community.
This was agreed as a continued priority for HouseProud, with joint training already delivered in the areas of hate crime, supporting older LGBTQ+ customers and trans awareness.
- Have identified staff who deal with customers who have LGBTQ+ issues.
Some organisations have LGBT officer champions in place already. It was agreed that other members explore the possibility of champion roles within their organisation, and potential training opportunities that HouseProud could provide to support them in their role.
- Organise more LGBTQ+ events that are advertised well.
The programme of events has been put on hold due to COVID, but members agreed that virtual events and awareness raising activities should still be explored, starting with a virtual pride event in August.
- Have a diverse way of promoting LGBTQ+ support including lanyards, letterheads, website and social media all year round, not just at Pride.
Some members’ organisations already use rainbow lanyards for colleagues who have completed LGBT awareness training. Members agreed to explore this within their own organisations.
- Develop a process that identifies pronouns from the start of a tenancy and address customers in the way they identify from the start via phone, email etc.
This is an area that members have identified for further consideration following trans awareness training from the Proud Trust. It was agreed that lettings forms and equality monitoring should be discussed at the next meeting.
- Develop a process to listen and show that you listen and respond.
Agreed to produce ‘you said, we did/will do’ feedback based on responses from the customer conference and share them with all customers who attended. The results of which you can read on this page.
How can we build trust?
- Sign up to the HouseProud pledge.Some members have already signed up to the pledge.
It was agreed that other members would confirm involvement with their organisations and that Pride could be used as a time to publicise all members signing up to the pledge.
- Develop LGBTQ+ customer groups.
It was agreed that the HouseProud customer forum should begin online due to the continued impact of COVID.
- Have LGBTQ+ representatives that include customer and colleagues.
Recruiting customer reps will be discussed on the new HouseProud customer forum. Details on how to join will be announced soon.
- Training involving LGBTQ+ customers.
Some members confirmed that customers are already engaged in all training programmes, so we would like to engage new HouseProud customer forum members in the design and delivery of all future joint training initiatives.
- Publicise and promote LGBTQ issues and what we’re doing.
A new HouseProud NW Twitter page has been created to share news and information which is @Houseproud_NW.
Barriers that currently exist
- Need to be more open and visible in our support of LGBTQ+.
- Increase support for isolated customers.
- Increase staff training and awareness - the new forum will be the first initiative to help engage with isolated customers. The forum will be consulted on other ways to help reduce social isolation. The first meeting is in August and attendees will agree a name for the group and its remit. Further publicity on how to get involved will follow.
- Make it clear who to approach in each organisation.
- Tackle community barriers – this will be consulted with the HouseProud customer forum.
- Publicise policies on harassment - this is an area which has already been identified as a priority for review by the group.
Issues where people live
- Tackle social isolation amongst LGBTQ+ customers.
- Improve methods for reporting hate crime.
- Review how staff visit LGBTQ+ customers in their homes - this will be consulted with the HouseProud customer forum.