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August 19, 2013

LGBT Housing Surveys Now Underway

It seems that affordable housing for LGBT older people is one of today’s hottest topics. Finding affordable housing is a challenge for many older adults, especially for LGBT older people who are less financially secure than older people in general.  Often, LGBT elders find that they cannot afford to live in the communities that have been their homes for many years.

Advocates and real estate developers are mobilizing to address this challenge.  In June, SAGE and Enterprise Community Partners Inc. presented a popular national conference call,” LGBT Inclusive Older Adult Housing with Services,” on LGBT affordable older adult housing opportunities and challenges; the call, attended by more than 200 people, featured housing experts and representatives from several LGBT older adult housing developments. If you missed this incredibly informative call, you can listen to it now. In addition, more and more affordable LGBT older adult housing developments have been springing up around the country; for an overview of these developments, check out the article, “Affordable Housing for LGBT Older Adults,” in the latest SAGEMatters.

These new developments are much needed, and other cities are now looking to address the affordable housing issue—whether through building their own developments or improving the quality of current elder housing. Recently three SAGE affiliates—in Portland, Oregon, St. Louis, Missouri and Salt Lake City, Utah—kicked off efforts to ensure that LGBT older adults in their cities have access to safe and affordable housing.

  • To ensure that LGBT older adults feel comfortable no matter where live, SAGE Metro Portland has launched the “LGBT Equality Survey for Senior Housing” to assess residential facilities, retirement communities, assisted living and nursing homes on how welcoming they are to LGBT residents. The aim is to connect LGBT older adults with LGBT-friendly housing utilizing a new multifaceted assessment tool that assists in discovering the culture, policies, diversity of staff, and outreach efforts of a particular senior housing establishment. If you are a senior housing facility in the Portland interested in participating in the survey for an opportunity to join the program, please contact the SAGE Metro Portland Coordinator at (503) 224-2640, email sage@friendlyhouseinc.org or take the online survey. On-site consultations can be scheduled if assistance is needed to complete the survey.
  • SAGE Metro St. Louis is now seeking the input of community individuals who are age 18 and older to better understand the current and future housing and retirement needs of St. Louis LGBT older adults. This information will help the organization when planning and developing services to support the St. Louis LGBT community. SAGE Metro St. Louis’ efforts are part of the ongoing work they have been doing to improve the quality of housing and support for LGBT older adults in their community. (You can read more about these efforts in the Fall 2012 issue of SAGEMatters). The survey is anonymous and confidential. If you’re in the St. Louis area, you can find more information and take the survey online here. If you would prefer to complete the survey in paper form, please contact the SAGE office at (314) 772-5887 or email ewebb@sagemetrostl.org and a survey will be mailed to you along with a postage paid, return envelope.
  • SAGE Utah has partnered with Salt Lake County Aging Services, AARP Utah, and the Utah state government for a multi-phase survey that will encompass senior living and retirement communities; assisted living; and long term care facilities.  They are about to launch the Phase 1 of the survey and hope to focus a spotlight on LGBT elder housing issues in the state of Utah.

 

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