08 June 2017
Equality & diversity
Warm and welcoming - the importance of being an inclusive organisation
One of Hanover’s core values is to be inclusive. It is important that our estates are welcoming and positive places that recognise that everyone is different, and that our staff are diverse and are treated with respect. In line with this, we are in the middle of delivering our 2016–2018 Equality and Diversity strategy. This is an ambitious strategy that builds on the successes we have achieved already. It has been formulated within the legal context of the Equality Act 2010 and the regulatory requirements of the Homes and Communities Agency.
We also recognise that customers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) may, because of their life experiences, feel wary of being 'out' to their neighbours or to staff. Recent research by Affinity Sutton (now Clarion Housing Group) showed that some (LGBT) residents can feel landlords don’t always provide a LGBT-friendly service. Some are afraid they could experience hostility from some members of staff. They felt particularly that landlords might not deal with harassment effectively.
This is very worrying. We want to make sure that we provide the best service we can to our LGBT customers. With this in mind, we are part-funding research into the experiences of LGBT people who live in homes managed by housing associations like Hanover. We are funding the work with Genesis, Clarion, Amicus Horizon, Riverside and L&Q. All of these organisations are members of HouseProud, a nationwide LGBT network for individuals working in the housing sector.
The research aims to identify practical steps landlords can take to improve the service they offer. The project has now started and is being commissioned from the University of Surrey.
If you are a Hanover customer who defines as LGBT you can complete the HomeSAFE Survey and/or register your interest in attending a focus group HomeSAFE Registration. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Frances Saunders on 07895 656 222. The background information about the survey can be also be viewed here.
We are currently discussing running a focus group on one of Hanover’s estates in Scarborough, with more groups planned in other parts of the country.
Members of ProActive, Hanover’s LGBT residents’ group, have already been sent details of the research.