Under-served LGBT seniors of South Florida will finally gain access to an affordable housing community.
Carrfour Supportive Housing, a Miami-based non-profit organization, has combined forces with a fellow non-profit to develop the first low-income housing community in the area for senior members of the LGBT community. The partnership with The Pride Center, a well-known LGBT community center, will also provide residents access to healthcare navigation, support groups, recreational activities, and other community services.
Coined the Residences at Equality Park, the housing community will be built in two phases. The first will involve the construction of 48 apartments — 34 of which are designated for low-income seniors who live with illnesses or disabilities stemming from HIV/AIDS complications. The second phrase will add another 74 apartments to the community, and will be reserved for seniors who earn less than 60% of the median income. Construction will begin in late 2017 for the first phase, and is expected to be completed a year later.
The Equality Park campus, currently owned by The Pride Center, will also get a big facelift. Development plans include a brand new multi-use center, an outdoor pavilion, a boathouse cafe, a picnic area, and additional parking structures. Currently, Equality Park features 30,000 square feet of office space and meeting areas, regularly used for programs and services in the LGBT community.
Although this community will be the first of its kind in South Florida, there is a growing trend for LGBT-oriented senior communities across the country. Considering that approximately 1,000 new people move to Florida every day, it’s a popular destination for many seniors. Seniors in the LGBT community — especially those who fall into a lower income bracket — can easily face discrimination in the competitive housing market of the area.
Carrfour hopes that by creating a community atmosphere, low-income seniors will be able to connect and provide support for those who may not have family to count on. They plan to build another 266 affordable units over the next two years, in various communities throughout South Florida.