Philly Low-Income LGBT Seniors Housing Sets National Bar

A new Philadelphia-based building that caters to low-income seniors in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community may soon inspire similar models nationwide.

The John C. Anderson apartments, a six-story building that opened recently in Center City, Philadelphia, has attracted residents from across the country, including Florida and New York, The Washington Post reports in a recent article.

This initiative is part of a broader campaign by the federal government to address what officials say is growing housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, The Washington Post notes, adding that the trend is due in part to “more gay Americans being out of the closet, officially married and more aware of their rights than ever before.”


To qualify for the housing, seniors must earn between $8,000 and $33,000 a year. The project was built in partnership with Penn­rose Properties, which specializes in affordable housing. It received $6 million from the state, $2 million from Washington and $11.5 million in low-income federal tax credits.

The Anderson apartments already have a 100-person waiting list; and the demand for LGBT-friendly housing is expected to grow as the number of Americans 65 and older who identify as LGBT is projected to double by 2030.

Before moving to the Anderson apartments from Florida, 74-year-old Sidney Meyers had trouble finding a retirement community that welcomed him because of he identified as gay, according to the report.


“It was painful because I had no proud pictures of grandchildren to show off,” Meyers tells the Washington Post. “In my generation, gay men weren’t allowed to adopt children, let alone marry. We weren’t even allowed to exist.”

The Fair Housing Act, which explicitly bars several forms of housing discrimination, does not specifically include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. But the Obama administration says this discrimination may still be covered by the law.

Read the full article here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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