Southwest region to get first LGBTQ+ senior living facility
The Montrose Center in Houston is scheduled to begin construction next month on the Southwest’s first LGBTQ-affirming housing complex for low-income seniors.
It’ll be the second largest LGBTQ+ senior housing facility in the country according to Out Smart Magazine.
The Center secured $13.8 million worth in federal housing subsidies and the article reports a ground breaking is scheduled for Oct. 23.
“We have been working on this project for five years, and it is very rewarding that we are able to put all the pieces together in order to serve seniors with a comprehensive program that includes housing,” said Montrose Center Executive Director Ann Robison to Out Smart.
There will be 112-independent units across two main buildings standing four stories high and it’s scheduled to officially open in summer of 2020.
The purpose of the facility is to help LGBTQ+ seniors who face discrimination despite their demographic's growth. Statistically 48 percent of same-sex senior couples are discriminated against according to the national nonprofit, SAGE.
“Culturally competent housing options for our LGBTQ seniors is a problem in Houston, and a facility of this kind is long overdue,” said Brittany Burch, coordinator of the Montrose Center’s LIFE Counseling Program.
Funds for the project are also coming from Houston’s $2.5 million in Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone and the facility will sit on a 2.87-acre lot donated by the Midtown Redevelopment Authority.
On the external staircases of the facility rainbow mesh representing the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag will be on display as well.
According to Out Smart other aspects of the project will include a primary-care clinic, a group dining area, meeting and game rooms, a fitness center, a dog park, a vegetable garden and outdoor recreational spaces.
Applications will be accepted three months before the facility opens and to live there one must be 62 years or older.
Pioneering gay activist Ray Hill, a senior who has struggled to afford housing in recent years, told the magazine he’s excited to find a place he belongs.
“The whole concept of senior citizens having a safe place to live is a very good idea,” Hill said. “It’s a nice thing to live with one’s peers.”
Information provided by Out Smart Magazine.
The Gayly. 9/18/2018 @ 1:20 p.m. CST.