Thursday, 21 August 2014

Stonewall names ex-housing boss as gay champion

A housing association chief executive who left his post suddenly at the end of last year has been named as Stonewall’s individual champion of the year.

Bill Payne, the former chief executive of Metropolitan Housing Group, won individual champion of the year at the gay, lesbian and bisexual equality charity’s awards ceremony last night.

Mr Payne said the award was a ‘phenomenally wonderful honour’ and that prejudice against gay employees is ‘shameful in a world where people should be treated with dignity’.

He said: ‘If housing associations can’t embody the moral and business imperative for hiring gay staff then heaven’s above knows who will.’

Five housing associations made Stonewall’s list of the top 100 employers published on Wednesday.

Metropolitan Housing Group was rated the most welcoming to gay staff in the housing sector and placed fifth overall.

A spokesperson for Stonewall said it was the first time they had included the category of individual champion, and had awarded it to Mr Payne based on the evidence submitted by staff at the surveyed companies.

He said: ‘It’s because he has been so influential in driving forward change and inclusion and it was really noticeable.’

Readers' comments (1)

  • How refreshing, congratulations to Bill. I worked previously at one of the providers now on the list. Glad to see things have shifted for the good since I was there.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register



  • Housing organisation named Britain's most gay-friendly employer

    15 January 2014

    A housing association has scooped an award for the most gay-friendly organisation in Britain - the first ever housing organisation to do so.

  • Room for improvement


    Social housing providers claim to be committed to equality and diversity, but are they living up to the hype? The Housing Diversity Network conducted a survey to find out. Martin Hilditch reports

  • Do more for LGBT equality


    Some social landlords are excellent, but many can do more to prevent discrimination against LGBT people

  • Think tank calls for landlords to offer more support to LGBT tenants

    23 May 2014

    Social landlords need to up their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tenants as austerity measures have affected LGBT community services, a think tank reportsaid today.

  • Breaking the mould


    By launching private rented sector arm Fizzy Living, Geeta Nanda has led Thames Valley Homes in an ambitious new direction. Here she tells Jess McCabe why she’s not worried the move will change the identity of the sector as a whole


  • The dangers of damp


    Landlords should take damp and mould seriously to avoid conviction, says Timothy Waitt

  • Room for dignity


    A new toolkit aims to help smaller housing associations address the needs of residents suffering from dementia. Caroline Thorpe reports

  • Trade secrets


    Can learning from other sectors help social landlords do their jobs better? Heather Spurr visits retail icon John Lewis with a number of landlords to find out

  • The elephant in the room


    Mental health is still a taboo subject, especially in the workplace. Here, Lydia Stockdale finds out what one former housing worker is doing to get it out in the open

  • Exchanging ideas during job swap


    When directors at a Staffordshire-based housing association swapped jobs for seven weeks they ended up learning new skills - and saving money. Helen Clifton reports

IH Subscription