DIVA Publisher Linda Riley shares her thoughts on LGBTQI-inclusive housing for older people in this clip

BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE BY DIVA MAGAZINE/LINDA RILEY

Pride Month is swiftly coming to a close, but today, Stonewall Housing has launched a programme that demonstrates why Pride is important all year round. Its UK-wide housing advice service, designed specifically for LGBTQI people over the age of 50, launches today, on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969.

The UK’s leading LGBTQI homelessness charity, Stonewall Housing is a non-profit working to ensure LGBTQI people live in safer homes, free from fear. Recognising the unique needs of the older LGBTQI community, in 2022 alone, they’re on track to supporting 2000 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The charity estimates that, of the homeless population, one in five people are LGBTQI. It’s for this reason that its new over 50s service – which is set to include a web chat function to further incorporate rural communities outside of London – is so vital.

John Stubbs, Advice Manager at Stonewall Housing, states: “It’s really heartbreaking to hear the stories of some of our elders within the community experiencing such poor treatment from landlords, care givers and external contractors going into their homes. We hear time and time again about entrenched isolation, living in appalling squalid conditions because they’re too afraid their landlord will evict them if they complain, carers refusing to work with them because of their identity and even in some cases praying over them without their consent. It’s fantastic to have the resource behind us to really focus in on these needs and advocate on their behalf where needed.”

DIVA Publisher Linda Riley shares her thoughts on the importance of LGBTQI-inclusive housing. Credit: Stonewall Housing

DIVA Publisher Linda Riley is also a Stonewall Housing Champion, and remarks: “This is the 50th year of Pride in London. If you think back to the people that marched 50 years ago, these are the people that need all of our help. They were the ones that really marched for our rights. I myself was marching 45 years ago and it’s not like it is today. The older community need support with housing, they’re not as mobile, they need more care, as our community gets older they lose their queer visibility, they need affordability and accessibility. As LGBTQIA people, our homes are our castles and Stonewall Housing are such a fantastic organisation that have the experience and expertise to help with these issues.”

Funded by the Trust for London for the next three years, Stonewall Housing is ready to help LGBTQI people aged over 50 with their new programme. With an array of services, the organisation is ensuring that advice can be accessed universally, offering face-to-face meetings, virtual drop-ins, phone calls and a brand-new online chat service.

Want to learn more? Stonewall Housing is hosting its first 50+ drop in on Tuesday 5 July at Tonic@Bankhouse Community Lounge, in partnership with Tonic and One Housing. You can make an appointment with an advisor in advice or drop in between 14:00 and 15:00. Follow Stonewall Housing on Twitter and Facebook for more, or visit their website to learn more about the services they offer.

DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 

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