New York—Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), HELP USA and BFC Partners are developing New York City’s first senior housing, including two properties, with services designed specifically for the LGBT community. The properties, Ingersoll Senior Residences and Crotona Senior Residences, will provide nearly 230 units and bring LGBT culturally competent services to older adults at both sites.
This spring, New York City Housing Authority and NYC Housing and Preservation announced the selection of BFC Partners and SAGE to develop a 145-unit affordable senior housing development. Located in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, Ingersoll Senior Residences will be the nation’s largest LGBT-welcoming elder housing development in the nation.
Separately, the 82-unit Crotona Senior Residences, located in Crotona Park North, Bronx, will be developed as part of a collaboration between HPD, HELP USA, NY State Homes and Community Renewal and SAGE. The developments are one component of the National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative which SAGE launched in 2015 in response to discrimination against LGBT older people in senior housing.
On-site SAGE Centers at both locations will be modeled after SAGE’s 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 programming and social engagement opportunities.
Both developments will be financed under the city’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing. Crotona Senior Residences will also be financed in part by the New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, Housing Trust Fund Corp. 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.
Ingersoll Senior Residences and Crotona Senior Residences are building upon precedents of LGBT-inclusive senior housing that has been developed in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and Minneapolis. All of these developments respond to needs that are well documented by research.
That includes a 2014 report by the Equal Rights Center, with support from SAGE, which found that 48 percent 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 difficult for LGBT older people to find housing as they age.