LGBTQ+ Housing Support at the London Borough of Haringey

LGBTQ+ Housing Support at the London Borough of Haringey 

We continue our blog series looking at LGBTQ+ homelessness services breaking barriers across the UK with a focus on how a Local Authority in London has transformed its approach to housing support. This is our final installment in the series which wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing research of Dr Neil Turnbull who authored the original case studies used to create these blogs. A big thanks to Neil for all your hard work shining a light on these amazing services.  



The London Borough of Haringey has undergone a transformative journey in its approach to housing support for LGBTQ+ individuals facing homelessness. Through strategic planning, sustained support, and a commitment to inclusivity, Haringey’s housing support department has set a valuable precedent for other local authorities seeking to enhance their services for the LGBTQ+ community. In this blog, we delve into the challenges faced by Haringey, the innovative solutions they implemented, and the impact of their LGBTQ+ aware approach on their services. 

The journey began with a realisation that there was a lack of data on LGBTQ+ individuals seeking housing support in the borough. The council recognised the importance of filling this gap to better understand the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Haringey focused on raising the profile of existing LGBTQ+ services. They engaged with organisations like ‘Open Doors London’ to provide support for older LGBTQ+ individuals in sheltered housing. By starting conversations and making LGBTQ+ services more visible, they encouraged more people to access the support they needed. 

The council recognised the specific issues related to LGBTQ+ domestic abuse, which required tailored support to address these unique challenges. 

To ensure comprehensive support, Haringey undertook a review of their referral and assessment forms. The goal was to ask appropriate questions to identify LGBTQ+ individuals facing homelessness and offer the necessary support.  

The borough also established a resource centre called “Mulberry Junction” explicitly designed to be LGBTQ+ inclusive.  This centre not only increased accessibility but also facilitated open conversations about gender and sexuality, leading to a surge in LGBTQ+ individuals seeking assistance. 

Haringey recognised that providing support for LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic abuse and harassment required specialised services. They commissioned GALLOP to work with them, offering informal advice to those who might not feel comfortable discussing abuse as their reason for homelessness. 

The council also emphasised the importance of weaving LGBTQ+ inclusion throughout all services rather than treating homelessness as a discrete issue. They ensured LGBTQ+ inclusion was integrated into their strategic priorities and healthcare initiatives. 

Recognising the diverse accommodation needs of LGBTQ+ individuals, Haringey offered specialised services for young and older LGBTQ+ people. The separate accommodation provision for young people allowed them to feel safe, supported, and free to explore their identities. However, the council also acknowledged the importance of creating opportunities for intergenerational conversations to foster a sense of community. 

To address accommodation needs for LGBTQ+ individuals outside the local authority, Haringey jointly commissioned a young people’s service with neighbouring boroughs. This collaboration helped share the fiscal burden and facilitated smoother transitions for young LGBTQ+ individuals relocating between boroughs. 

The London Borough of Haringey’s housing support department serves as an inspiring example for other local authorities. By addressing the demand for data on LGBTQ+ individuals, raising the profile of existing services, and recognising specific challenges related to LGBTQ+ domestic abuse, Haringey has built a foundation of inclusivity. 

Their approach to enhancing services through strategic support, review of assessment forms, and engagement with the LGBTQ+ community has resulted in increased visibility and access to support. Haringey’s commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion throughout all services is commendable, and their focus on intersectionality highlights the diversity of needs within the LGBTQ+ community. 

As the council continues to provide specialised accommodation for young and older LGBTQ+ individuals, they remain open to incremental changes and planning for the future. By doing so, Haringey is making a positive impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals facing homelessness and creating a more inclusive and supportive community for all.