According to Stonewall, one in 10 LGBT people is discriminated against when looking for a house or flat to rent or buy, because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Regenda Homes is working closely with its residents who identify as LGBT to promote equality and visibility, and tackle discrimination.
In 2009, Regenda Homes began supporting Liverpool Pride as part of the Homes for Everyone Group, with staff and tenants taking part in the annual Pride march through the city centre.
Last year, the housing association lit up its Commutation Plaza office to shine a light on diversity and raise awareness of LGBT hate crime, as part of the ‘Come Out of the Shadows’ initiative by Liverpool Pride.
Alongside supporting large scale events such as Pride, Regenda Homes’ Neighbourhoods Team have been working closely with residents and providing sponsorship through its Community Chest Fund, which was set up to offer financial support for those looking to deliver an event or project.
Recently, Regenda Homes sponsored the Transgender Day of Visibility at Liverpool Museum which had been organised by one of its residents, Imogen Christie.
Imogen said: “I was delighted when Regenda Homes agreed to support the event at Liverpool Museum as it provided the vital funds needed to help promote visibility within the city.
“Through sponsoring and facilitating community events, Regenda Homes provides a very positive dynamic which supports the wellbeing of its residents who identify as LGBT."
Imogen was born in Glasgow in 1963 and first became a Regenda Homes resident in 2010, while studying for a Masters Degree in Social Work. During this time Imogen began her journey of transition, although never formally asked for her gender to be recognised.
“From the outset Regenda Homes was a very supportive landlord. I was on a bursary as I was studying and we worked together to come up a payment plan for my rent.
“At the time it was not problematic for me to be me and so there was never any need to formally discuss my gender.
“In 2014, I had a breakdown through not being able to transition in the work place. This led to me suffering debilitating mental health issues and I was no longer able to work, resulting in me falling into financial difficulties.
“Regenda Homes were extremely supportive during this time and worked with other support agencies to help find a solution that enabled me to keep my tenancy.
“Having the security of my own home and own space provide the stability for me to continue with my transition.”
In March, Imogen accompanied representatives from Regenda Homes at the National Housing Federation’s ‘Great Places’ event in Liverpool, helping to provide insight into what made Liverpool a great place to live.
Imogen said: “Throughout my time as a tenant with Regenda Homes they have showed willingness to support me in how I express my chosen gender and meet my needs as a tenant.”
Jo Sullivan, Safeguarding Project Officer at Regenda Homes said: "Imogen’s story is inspirational and moving. I am proud to work for Regenda Homes, an organisation that works directly and collaboratively to educate, normalise and promote acceptance of LGBT lifestyles and choices.
"Imogen’s story reflects Regenda’s holistic approach to our tenants, adapting and shaping our services to meet their needs."
Regenda Homes will be supporting Liverpool Pride as part of the Homes for Everyone group again this year, along with lighting up the Commutation Plaza office in the Pride flag colours to show support for diversity and raise awareness of hate crime.