Colette McKune, Group Deputy Chief Executive , explains why ForViva is building the UK's first housing scheme specifically for LGBT people in Salford.

Our cities have never been more diverse, and yet the challenges have never been greater for some.

It has become clear that some members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community in Salford are facing incredibly tough choices, even homelessness, because their circumstances had left them with nowhere to turn for alternative housing.

A recent report from equality charity Stonewall found that one in 10 LGBT people who were looking for a house or flat to rent or buy in the last year were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

LGBT people should feel free and open about their identity when it comes to finding a home. Sadly, that is not always the case.

Members of the LGBT community often face problems such as domestic violence, relationship breakdowns, harassment in or around the home, pressure from relatives to move out of the family home and financial difficulties in maintaining their homes. These housing problems have generally been caused by negative behaviours and attitudes of others towards LGBT people.

Young people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender make up 24% of the young homeless population in Britain. Last year the Albert Kennedy Trust, an organisation that supports young LGBT people, or those living in hostile environments, estimated that 150,000 were homeless or at risk of homelessness as a result of intolerance.

In an area which is proud to have the largest LGBT population outside of London, such challenges are fundamentally wrong, and it’s why we at ForViva have launched the UK’s first development aimed specifically at members of that population who are facing difficulty and discrimination.

Great Clowes Street in Salford is a community of 14 apartments for LGBT people who may be facing difficult circumstances, which is due to be completed later this year. The apartments will all be put up for affordable rent and will help ensure local vulnerable LGBT people feel safe and secure in their homes.

The initiative is part of ForViva’s commitment to providing housing and services that promote diversity.

We are proud to call ourselves a forward-thinking social purpose business which manages 24,000 homes across the North West of England.

It is our great hope that the £1.4m Great Clowes Street scheme will go some way, no matter how small, to addressing these challenges of tolerance and inclusion and allow LGBT people facing these challenges to improve their situations and live independently.

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