we help lgbtq+ refugees escape dangerous living situations to find their home away from home.
Over 1,500 LGBTQ+ people seek asylum in the UK every year, hoping to find safety and protection from the abuse, violence, and persecution of their past. However, many LGBTQ+ refugees continue to face life-threatening challenges after arriving in the country, including unsafe housing and homelessness.
Housing is a huge challenge for the entire refugee population for many reasons, including financial constraints, having no choice over where and with whom you live, discrimination from property owners, and policies like Right to Rent and No Recourse to Public Funds conditions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, an inability to effectively socially isolate has been highlighted as a huge issue with shared housing for refugees.
Housing is precarious throughout an individual’s asylum journey. If someone’s asylum application is denied, they face eviction from government-provided accommodation despite having nowhere else to go, and the possibility of appealing the court’s decision. Even once someone has been granted asylum, they have just 28 days to move into private accommodation. This is hardly long enough to find a job or access benefits, save for rent and a deposit, and secure a suitable place to live, leading many to become homeless in the month after being granted.
For LGBTQ+ refugees, these challenges are exacerbated because of their sexuality or gender identity. For those living in ‘hidden homelessness’ with family and friends, many continue to conceal their identity for fear of abuse, discrimination, and ultimately eviction. The situation is similar for those living in government-provided accommodation; LGBTQ+ refugees are often forced to cohabit with non-LGBTQ+ refugees from the communities they have just fled from, and live in fear of homophobic or transphobic abuse.
We estimate that around a fifth of LGBTQ+ refugees end up street homeless, following either eviction from their accommodation or discrimination to the extent that they feel safer sleeping on street corners or in buses.
despite over 1,500 LGBTQ+ asylum seekers arriving to the uk every year, micro rainbow is the only organisation providing safe housing for this group.
asylum refusal rates for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers have risen to 83%, forcing people out of government-provided housing and into homelessness.
over 20% of our members have been street homeless since arriving in the uk and 68% have experienced 'hidden homelessness', living informally with friends.
Say It Loud Club supports LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers to find safe, LGBTQ-friendly places to live. Through our links to housing associations and emergency shelters, we are able to help our members to find accommodation both in a crisis and in the long-term. We provide practical support with moving house, including everything from completing paperwork, to collecting furniture donations, to being an extra pair of hands to carry boxes!
Our mentoring and peer support helps people to manage the stress of challenging living situations, and our educational programmes mean that members become confident in asserting their rights and navigating UK housing systems. We are also working with our members to develop campaigns which aim to make housing more prevalent, accessible, and accepting for LGBTQ+ refugees of the future.
Of the 80% of members who said we had recently helped them with housing issues:
We had supported 21% to find emergency shelter when they were homeless
We provided 26% with advice when facing homelessness or eviction
We referred 32% to a housing association
We found 21% somewhere permanent to live
We helped 10% to move house
We gave 53% emotional support related to housing difficulties
75% of our members have experienced discrimination in accommodation because of their LGBTQ+ identity, and 64% because of their migration status.
76% of our members said seeking help with housing was challenging, and 24% felt discriminated against because of their lgbtq+ and/or refugee identity.
Say it loud club manages 5 properties through our partnership with notting hill genesis. our members are now happy to call these flats 'home'!
"say it loud club helps us to find proper accommodation, where we can live without hesitation or discrimination."
Hear from our members about their experiences with housing, how Say It Loud Club and other organisations have supported them, and what they would like to change for LGBTQ+ refugees in the future.
£5 pays for someone who is homeless to travel to an emergency shelter.
£10 means we can complete a referral to a housing association, so someone can find safe long-term housing.
£20 covers the cost of an hour-long mentoring session for an LGBTQ+ refugee experiencing discrimination at home.
With £50 we can run a workshop for up to 100 Say It Loud Club members to learn about their rights relating to housing.
£100 helps us to meet the essential needs of an LGBTQ+ refugee who is street homeless for a week, including a hostel, food vouchers and hygiene products.