LGBT housing project is first in the north

Sinn Fein Councillor Sandra Duffy.
Sinn Fein Councillor Sandra Duffy.

Derry City & Strabane District Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has welcomed the launch of First Housing’s ‘Safe Space Housing’ for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community.

The new facility will be launched at First Housing’s Jefferson Court Project.

Speaking about the new development, Colr. Duffy said: “This is a pilot project which is the first of its kind in the North, and it has been supported by the Council for The Homeless.

“It should give those from the LGBT community the confidence to know that whilst they are living in First Housing’s Supported accommodation or using their support services, that it is a safe space for all.”

Explaining the reasoning for the new facility in Derry, Colr. Duffy said:

“The thinking behind this project is that there are times when people from the LGBT community feel unsafe in social spaces, services and housing.

“They may feel worried or frightened about challenging prejudice and may not feel they can reveal their LGBT identity.

“A safe space commitment sets out the expectation for everyone in a space, it forms the agreement of how people treat each other.

“It will help LGBT people feel more confident that prejudice will be challenged and it supports staff to do so in a firm but supportive way.

“The aim of the safe space in housing is to make First Housing Projects a comfortable and positive place for everyone, regardless of identity or background.”

Colr. Duffy added: “I would like to congratulate the team for taking this step, which will hopefully encourage other providers to do likewise.”

First Housing was established in Derry in 1989 and offers a range of advice, support and accommodation services to people that are homeless and in acute housing need across Northern Ireland.