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Housing and homelessness commission meet with Minister

LGBT Youth Scotland’s Youth Commission on Housing and Homelessness is a group of young activists passionate about improving standards in the sector for young LGBT people. They have developed and facilitated two consultations over the past year with over 20 professionals from the sector and over 100 LGBT young people from across Scotland.

On the 23rd of August, three representatives of the Commission: Emily Frood, Kaelin Farnish and Megan McIntyre; met with Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing. They discussed their work over the last year and asked the Scottish Government to take action to improve inclusivity, consistency and accountability of homelessness services across Scotland.

The Minister has asked the group to work alongside his team to carry out a scoping exercise with the goal of gauging Local Authorities’ levels of LGBT awareness, identifying gaps in policy and measuring their confidence in supporting LGBT young people. The group will also contribute to a training toolkit for all Local Authority housing and homelessness services.

In a significant step, the Minister has also expressed his intention to propose changes to housing regulations so it becomes mandatory for services to record and report the number of LGBT people they support.

Megan McIntyre, one of the young people on the Commission, said she was “excited to see what develops and how Kevin Stewart is going to keep young people involved throughout the process”. Kaelin Farnish reflected on their role in the Commission over the last year: “now, knowing (practice) is going to be altered to help homeless LGBT people, I feel like I have made a real change in this community for the better".

On the 15th of September, LGBT Youth Scotland will host an exhibition of art by young people that reflects the findings and achievements of the Commission over the past year. This will be at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. 

For further details and to register for the event, go here.

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