The view across the pond

In the USA, there are older LGBT schemes in Florida, Minneapolis, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In 2015, I carried out a research trip to the USA, visiting three housing projects that targeted provision for older LGBT people. My trip was funded by the London Housing Foundation, and my daily vlog reports can be found on Facebook.

 

JohnCAndersonApartments
John C Anderson Apartments, Philadelphia

54 x one-bed apartments for people aged 55+. Approximately 90% of residents are LGBT. The scheme is always full and there are 200 on the waiting list. The scheme includes community space and is closely linked with the local LGBT centre. More information here

Spirit on the Lake Apartments, Minneapolis

46 apartments for people aged 55+. Approximately 50% residents are LGBT. Vacancies are rare, and there is a long waiting list.

TriangleSquare

Triangle Square, Los Angeles

100+ units. Approximately 33% LGBT. Located close to the local LGBT centre. Plans to develop other local LGBT services. Multigenerational approach.

All three schemes are funded through tax credits, and are therefore restricted to people on low incomes. This funding stream means they cannot be LGBT exclusive, but they have all easily attracted LGBT residents through links with local centres and positive marketing.

The projects were developed with strong engagement from local LGBT groups and their experience has demonstrated that strong and supportive LGBT communities have formed in these developments despite not being exclusively LGBT.

A key feature of some of the schemes is both the additional facilities and meeting spaces in the building or their close location to local LGBT community projects and centres. This additional support and social engagement contributes to the success of the housing schemes.

Each scheme was also planned with the close involvement of the local LGBT community. Rather than undertaking a broad and very general community consultation, the different groups had focused on working with local groups and individuals once there was a specific project up for discussion and co-production. This ensured the ongoing participation of local people.

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