Philadelphia LGBT-Friendly Affordable Senior Housing Is Awarded $11 Million in Tax Credit Financing
Posted: 04/16/2012 - 15:00
New Philadelphia Housing Launch Called a Pioneering Innovation in U.S. Housing Solutions for Low-Income LGBT Seniors
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) voted on Thursday, April 12 to provide a reservation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits –an official “green light” that now will generate up to $11 million dollars for the LGBT-friendly affordable senior housing facility co-developed by the dmhFund and Pennrose Properties. This new public-private housing initiative, conceived in the heart of Philadelphia’s downtown lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender neighborhoods, is considered among the first such elder housing facilities of its kind in the U.S.
This critical stream of funding will allow the $19 million project to move forward and break ground as early as September 30th. The co-developers had already raised $6 million from the Commonwealth’s capital development program and $2 million from the City’s Office of Housing and Community Development.
“For years, developing a unique facility in the heart of Philadelphia’s gayborhood where our most vulnerable LGBT elders could live out their golden years was our pie-in-the-sky idea,” dmhFund President Mark Segal said. “But today, we can say for certain, that pie-in-the-sky idea will become a reality.” Segal also underscored that this breakthrough elder housing project, once completed, will comply with all equal housing laws and regulations. This ensures that it will not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity – nor can it be made exclusive only to qualified LGBT seniors.
The new 6-story building will be located on 13th Street between Locust and Spruce on land to be purchased by the developers from the City’s Redevelopment Authority. The facility will include 56 one-bedroom units which will be available to seniors aged 62 and over who earn less than 60% of the Philadelphia median income.
There have been many studies that indicate a strong need for affordable housing for the elder LGBT population. A recent Williams Institute study (UCLA, March 2009) found significantly higher rates of poverty for gay men and lesbians over age 65.
“LGBT seniors are often forced back into the closet as they get older and must live in environments that are not accepting of who they are,” said Segal. “The elders of our community have been invisible. With today’s announcement, we will begin to change that in Philadelphia.”
The project enjoys broad-based and bipartisan support from diverse sources including Democratic and Republican elected officials, a united LGBT community, many of the region’s senior citizen organizations, labor unions, and community groups such as the NAACP.
The dmhFund was established in 2004 to fund a variety of programs that foster education about HIV/AIDS, fight prejudice and discrimination, and deliver services to youth, seniors, and diverse constituencies within the LGBT community in the Philadelphia region.
Pennrose is a premier multifamily development and residential property management company founded in 1981. They offer extensive expertise in complex, urban and suburban development having developed and managed more than 11,000 units in eight states
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