Young Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people are struggling to navigate the housing system and unable to access suitable housing, says a new report from London Gypsies and Travellers based on a one-year project working with people aged 18 to 30 in Hackney.
LGT’s Hackney Young Travellers Homelessness Project provided advice, advocacy and signposting to the young people during 2022-23. It also provided information about who is seeking help and why.
Out of the 56 young people taking part in the project, 30 were homeless when they accessed the service. The main causes of homelessness were overcrowding in either a house or a pitch on a site. Others were homeless because their parents were suffering financially or they were fleeing domestic abuse.
The project uncovered significant barriers facing homeless young Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people who are trying to access housing services. These included not feeling safe, not feeling heard, language barriers, discrimination and a lack of action in the housing system.
“I feel like I kept having the same conversation I was having with everybody else,” said one young person. “I don’t feel like they care enough to sort it out.”
“We wanted to carry out this research to put an evidence base behind the issues we see within our Accommodation Advice Service for young Travellers,” said Warren Lee, LGT’s Accommodation Advice and Advocacy Worker. “This will help us influence stakeholders and decision makers within Hackney. It also helps us give a voice to those experiencing such difficulties and work towards solutions with them.”
The report was commissioned as part of a three-year project focused on the experiences of Gypsies and Travellers in temporary accommodation, funded through the Trust for London and Oak Foundation initiative “Better Temporary Accommodation for Londoners.” LGT representatives presented its findings and recommendations at a showcase event for the initiative held in London last week (pictured above).
A sample page from the summary report is pictured below.