Birmingham City Council is offering £20 in vouchers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people to take part in a survey about their housing needs.
The study, being carried out by an independent researcher, is intended to provide information about the problems LGBT people have with housing in the city, and to improve the way housing services in Birmingham are delivered.
But John Lines, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said he had never heard of the survey, and could not see how the idea would work.
“I’ve never heard of anything like this before,” said Coun Lines (Con Bartley Green). “We’d all do it, wouldn’t we, pretend for a phone call for £20. I’d do it myself, I could do with the money for the house.”
But a spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council said the survey was only on a small scale, and payment was necessary to get people to take part.
She said the study – which hopes to find the views of about 20 people – was important as it took in things like domestic abuse and as well as problems with housing.
Lisa Barker, the head of housing needs and private rented sector housing, said: “Birmingham City Council takes very seriously its responsibility towards all communities. Each and every one of our residents deserves to live in a community where they feel safe, in a home where they are secure.”
Independent researcher Katherine Cowan, was taken on to conduct the study and said she would like to interview LGBT people in the city who would like to share their housing experiences over the last five years, where their sexuality or gender identity had been an issue.