Housing LGBTQ+ And Vulnerable Young People

Lambeth Council has received more than £2m in funding, which will go towards providing housing support for young LGBTQ+ residents, reports Inside Housing.

The money, granted through the government’s Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP), covers three years and will support young people who would otherwise be at risk of rough sleeping. It will be split between three initiatives, which will see the council working with partners to provide specialist accommodation for 22 to 26-year-olds who are not ready to live independently, young women with mental ill health and additional needs, and LGBTQ+ young people.

The SHAP fund, launched last year, is managed by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the Greater London Authority (GLA). The fund aims to help councils and their partners to support adults with a long history of rough sleeping and young people aged 18 to 25 who are at risk of rough sleeping by providing long-term accommodation and support.

Lambeth Council has awarded contracts to three organisations. Charity AKT will provide support to LGBTQ+ young people aged 18 to 25 in a building owned by Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH).  The AKT will also provide training so that partnership providers can provide specialist support to LGBTQ+ young people. Housing association MTVH will provide supported accommodation to young women aged 18 to 25 with mental health and additional needs, especially those who are vulnerable to exploitation. Peabody will provide 24-hour support to young people aged 22 to 26.

When the fund was announced, the council did an analysis of its gaps in provision.

Sophie Konradsen, lead commissioner for routes to independence pathway and semi-independent living at Lambeth Council, said: “Our analysis revealed a lack of specialist provision for LGBTQ+ young people, and a reluctance from LGBTQ+ people to access frontline council and commissioned supported housing services due to discrimination.” Ms Konradsen also said there was a “lack of appropriate single gender provision for young women” who require specialist support particularly for “trauma related to men. This funding will enable us to bring forward plans to support young people in Lambeth who may otherwise be at risk of rough sleeping,” she said.