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29 September 2020

Havelock Housing Association and Meridian join forces to combat homelessness for Trans and gender diverse communities

Havelock Housing Association and Meridian recognise the significant benefits of working with a collaborative approach to addressing housing and homelessness issues for the sex and gender diverse communities of Canberra and have signed an MOU committing to their partnership.

Philippa Moss CEO Meridian said, “Homelessness is a critical issue for trans, gender diverse and non-binary people especially, with one in five having experienced homelessness at some time in their lives because of stigma, discrimination and family rejection.”

Housing is a human rights issue, and all people should be treated equally, but this is not always the case. The community needs to understand what discrimination can look like for LGBTIQ+ people and the multiple layers of oppression that exist. People may experience specific barriers and discrimination in shared accommodation settings and the private rental market.

Havelock and Meridian are working together to ensure secure, safe, and accessible housing options are available for LGBTIQ+ communities with a specific focus on support trans, gender diverse, and non-binary people experiencing homelessness.

According to research from the Pride Foundation Australia (2020), LGBTIQ people often fear being re-victimised when accessing services, which may lead some to feel less at risk on the streets. Fear of being rejected from gender-specific services is also common. Cultural safety is paramount. Havelock, in partnership with Meridian, is working to ensure a person-centred approach and minimise risks to physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. To kick the partnership off, Havelock staff received training and upskilling from Meridian to ensure they are confident to have conversations around safety and respond appropriately.

Andrew Rowe CEO of Havelock Housing Association said “Havelock is a welcoming and accessible service, and we are working with Meridian to ensure there is appropriate, designated and designed places for LGBTIQ communities and that our services are inclusive of LGBTIQ+ people, is culturally safe and acceptable.

Media Enquiries:

Andrew Rowe
Chief Executive Officer
Havelock Housing Association
andrewr@havelock.asn.au
(02) 6257 2277

Philippa Moss
Chief Executive Officer
Meridian
philippa.moss@meridianact.org.au
(02) 6257 2855

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