A growing national support for gay rights and an increasing willingness from banks to offer construction loans have given rise to more LGBT friendly senior housing projects in some of the nation’s largest cities.
Projects catering to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors have already started sprouting up in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago, according to an article from National Real Estate Investor (NREI).
Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing began the first-known LGBT-specific senior housing project in Hollywood in 2005, according to the article. Having grown out of the Los Angeles-based Alliance for Diverse Aging Community Services, the housing group helped establish the $22 million Triangle Square property that now sits at Selma and Ivar avenues.
In Philadelphia, Penrose Properties and the LGBT group dmhFund began development in November 2012 on the John C. Anderson seniors facility, a $20 million project named after a councilman who advocated for gay rights. The six-story, 56-unit building was funded by state and city incentives, such as low-income housing tax credits.
Chicago has had an LGBT-friendly project in the pipeline since 2011, but is closing on the the project’s financing and conveyance of land in late April/early May of this year.
The $26 million community, Center on Halsted, is being developed by Heartland Housing Inc. and will be located in the city’s Lake View neighborhood. The six-story, 79-unit property is also expected to be built in a former police station at the intersection of Addison and Halsted streets, only a few blocks east of Wrigley Field.
The Center on Halsted project is expected to open by 2015, according to Modesto Tico Valle, CEO of Center on Halsted—the community center from which the senior housing project derives its name.
In Chicago, developers see a demand for this specific type of senior housing, as Heartland plans to replicate the Center on Halsted project in the western suburb of Berwyn, Illinois.
Communities catering to LGBT seniors have been generally constructed as affordable housing, writes NREI, and while they must be open to all seniors by law, it is understood during development that these projects will be geared toward the LGBT community.
Written by Jason Oliva