More Than Bricks
The Extra Care Scheme will not meet the needs of all LGBT people, but it can be an example of good practice and drive up improvements across the wider service environment which incorporates sexual orientation and trans status monitoring, staff training and accreditation, such as Pride in Practice.
For one person interviewed, the highlight of the whole process will be to see the scheme built and see people moving in. It will be vital to protect the LGBT-affirmative extra care scheme in perpetuity. Partners need to work together to ensure the scheme is sustainable: to generate waiting lists (for those with high care needs, and those with low or no care needs and for the properties for sale and rent) and deliver a range of cost-effective services and thriving social enterprises.
Hard work is still to come for all involved as we agree the design of the flats and communal spaces (and what services and businesses this may include), the allocations policy and the management principles to deliver a scheme that will be ground-breaking and safe which also celebrates the LGBT communities. This is a blank canvas that can lead the way for other extra care schemes and LGBT housing projects to follow. One suggestion is to enshrine a role for the LGBT Foundation on-site offering community services to support the care and housing services?
When the LGBT Extra Care scheme opens it may be restricted to people with a Manchester connection. There was some discussion in the project meetings about the fact that local connection may not serve LGBT communities well because there are fewer specialist services in every locality. Until there is a wider range of housing choices, housing developments need to tackle the issue of community connection to ensure older LGBT people can access housing, care and community services and prevent a postcode lottery of access.
We will be discussing specific aspects of the scheme which will inform future updates to this journal. Subjects will include:
- We will be discussing what community services (services, activities and businesses) will be delivered at the scheme
- Future journal updates will explain how these were decided and funded?