As senior living developers continuously herald the anticipated coming of the baby boomer generation to fuel housing demand in the years ahead, there’s one group within this demographic that shouldn’t be ignored: the LGBT community, reports USA Today.
With already two communities geared toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors open nationwide, USA Today spotlights yet another project that has come to the forefront in providing housing needs for what many acknowledge as a widely underserved group.
The opening of Town Hall, an apartment housing development for adults age 55 and older in Chicago, made the city among the first affordable communities to serve lower income LGBT residents.
Now with the Chicago opening, which joined similar developments in Minneapolis and Philadelphia, three housing communities have opened in the last year that cater to low-income LGBT people, the article notes.
Extensive waiting lists for these few communities that have already opened—Town Hall received 400 applications for its 79 apartments—indicate the demand for housing that serves a population that continues to experience discrimination today.
Additionally, when Triangle Square, considered the first LGBT-friendly affordable housing complex for seniors, opened in Los Angeles in 2007, it received more than 800 applications, according to the Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing Corporation.
The need for this type of niche housing for the elderly is more pronounced when considering the discrimination older LGBT adults face and the impending demand in the years to come.
In 10 states, 52% of lesbian, gay and bisexual housing applicants faced adverse treatment, including being shown fewer rental options and being quoted higher rents than heterosexual couples shopping for apartments, according to a 2014 Equal Rights Center study referenced by USA Today.
The same study indicates about 3 million Americans 65 or older identify as LGBT, and that number is expected to double by 2030.
“When you look at the developments that have been built so far, it accounts for only about 500 units across the country,” said one transgender activist in the article who is involved in the push for LGBT-friednly senior housing in Minneapolis. “There is still an enormous demand that needs to be filled.”
Read more at USA Today.
Written by Jason Oliva