Announced at a press conference today, The Bronx (along with Brooklyn) will be the home of a new development of New York City’s first senior housing development with services benefiting the elder LGBT community.
The 82 unit Crotona Senior Residences will be developed by NYC Housing and Preservation, HELP USA, NY State Homes along with Community Renewal and SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders).
In a press release issued earlier today by SAGE, Michael Adams, CEO of the organization said, “For too long, our LGBT elder pioneers in New York City have lacked access to housing where they are welcomed for who they are. Ingersoll and Crotona are a critically important step toward righting that wrong.”
The press release goes on to state that:
On-site SAGE Centers at both locations will be modeled after SAGE’s highly successful Innovative Senior Centers located in Chelsea, Harlem, the Bronx, Staten Island (in partnership with the Pride Center of Staten Island), and Brooklyn (in partnership with GRIOT Circle). Residents and community members will have access to wide-ranging programming and social engagement opportunities.
Crotona Senior Residences will be made possible through a partnership with HPD, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and other development partners. Crotona Senior Residences will be financed in part by the New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and the Community Investment Fund. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and New York City Councilmember Ritchie Torres also provided capital support for the development.
- 100% affordable senior housing;
- A range of supportive services designed to help tenants achieve health and wellbeing;
- Apartments conducive to safe and active aging;
- On-site access to SAGE Centers, which will provide LGBT culturally competent services to older adults who live in the buildings and surrounding community; and
- Hot meals and high quality programming every day.
Ingersoll Senior Residences and Crotona Senior Residences build upon precedents of LGBT-inclusive senior housing that has been built in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and Minneapolis. All of these developments respond to needs that are well-documented by research. This includes a 2014 report by the Equal Rights Center, with support from SAGE, which found that 48% of LGBT older people applying for senior housing as part of a national test were subjected to discrimination. This high level of discrimination makes it extremely difficult for LGBT older people to find appropriate housing as they age.
The Bronx development is expected to cast $38.4 million to develop with construction anticipated by 2019 and will be open to all qualifying seniors regardless of their sexual orientation (so yes, that means that LGBT and non-LGBT seniors can qualify).
This is indeed amazing news for our borough and the LGBTQ community. For far too often, our needs are rarely met especially for our seniors. Hopefully this will eventually expand to more, similar developments and adoption of such policies for other, existing senior housing and centers.
Today, NYC announced the first ever LGBT Senior Housing to be constructed in The Bronx and Brooklyn. Also, a short while ago, the ban on our transgender family has been lifted by the military and will be able to serve openly.
In the face of adversity, our LGBTQ family continues to make strides against inequalities and injustices marching towards a more perfect union where people can simply be themselves without hatred because love will win in the end.
How many of those who came before us would be overjoyed at these announcements but more importantly, how many died for us?
How many paid the ultimate sacrifice living in secret?
I hope that in my lifetime I’ll enjoy a world where people don’t have to cower in silence.