Fife’s LGBT+ community faces greater risk of homelessness, research finds

The report includes a number of recommendations to improve the situation.The report includes a number of recommendations to improve the situation.
The report includes a number of recommendations to improve the situation.
Fife’s LGBT+ community are at a greater risk of homelessness, new research has found.

Frontline Fife’s study has shed new light on the isolation, stigma and exclusion experienced by people in the LGBT+ community and has called for action to help them access the housing and support they need.

It also concludes that both the scale and needs of these people are being overlooked and misunderstood, leading to some being made homeless.

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The research study, the findings of which have just been published, was carried out for the housing advice and support charity by Dr Briege Nugent, an independent research consultant and honorary research fellow at the University of Salford.

“This significant piece of work has been long overdue and we hope it will contribute to people in Fife’s LGBT+ community getting a fairer deal when it comes to homelessness support,” said Frontline Fife’s chief executive officer, Caryn Nicolson.

“As Dr Nugent says in her report, there has been little recognition of LGBT+ as a vulnerable population in relation to accessing housing. However, it’s clear from this research that many LGBT+ people are being disadvantaged solely because of their sexual identity.

“The findings of this research now need to be converted into action. We cannot allow these people to continue to be denied the housing support and provision available to others, simply because of stigma, prejudice and ignorance.”

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Dr Nugent interviewed people from Fife’s LGBT+ community who are either homeless or have been at risk of homelessness as well as frontline housing support workers and Fife-based professionals who influence policy or service design. Of the gay, transexual and bisexual people interviewed, only one did not think that being LGBT+ was a factor in becoming or being at risk of homelessness.

Among the recommendations made in the report are: there should be a dialogue involving all relevant parties on how to bring about inclusive services which take into account the needs of LGBT+ people; workers and LGBT+ people should be given training to help them develop meaningful relationships on an equal footing; data on homelessness should be reviewed to allow clients to be identified by their gender/sexual identity; the assessment of housing needs should be expanded to meet the specific needs of LGBT+ people; and LGBT+ education in schools should be expanded and developed.

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