While it’s becoming easier to find nursing homes and assisted living facilities that are very welcoming to LGBT seniors, in some areas, it’s still difficult for the elderly to find places where they’re comfortable living out their golden years. But a number of cities are seeing new properties going up that are aimed specifically for LGBT seniors. One such project was recently approved in Sacramento, California.
The proposed housing project, which was recently approved by the city council, is the first in the area aimed specifically at the aging LGBT population. It will be built on vacant lots that have had no development on them since the early 80s. We completed, there will be 53 units ready to rent at affordable prices.
A Growing Trend
Projects like this one are a growing trend in the real estate business. In Chicago, another LGBT-friendly community opened several years ago. These communities are aimed at addressing several different issues. The first is housing discrimination. While a number of states and cities have passed ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, not all places have this protection in place. It can also be difficult to prove that discrimination took place.
However, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s research does show that discrimination does exist: opposite-sex couples were clearly favored over same-sex couples in at least 16 percent of cases that were examined in a 2013 study. Housing communities such as these remove the discrimination issue completely. For seniors, it can be even worse—the Equal Rights Center did a study in 2014 that showed 52 percent of elderly LGBT people faced discrimination.
Another thing these senior communities address is the issue of acceptance. In a number of conservative areas, even when LGBT seniors are able to move into one of these communities, they may feel unwelcomed by their neighbors or be slighted by the staff.
The third issue addressed by these communities is income. Many seniors are on a fixed income, yet senior retirement centers continue to become more and more expensive. These communities are dedicated to keeping housing costs low so that seniors can afford to live there, buy groceries, and still have some money left over to enjoy their retirement with.
These LGBT community housing centers don’t discriminate on orientation—straight seniors can move into them, but everyone must meet specific income and age requirements.