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Where low-income LGBT seniors can live

North Park apartment project may begin next year, maybe not

Future site of apartments
Future site of apartments

When LGBT, low-income seniors in San Diego seek affordable apartments where they can live comfortably around their peers, they have this number of choices: zero. But that will change when the first affordable San Diego apartments for LGBT seniors are completed in North Park.

There are only a few such housing developments in the country (two are in Los Angeles). The nonprofit housing developer, Community HousingWorks, decided awhile back to work with The LGBT Center of Hillcrest on a future project. CHW previously offered a rough design concept at a November 2013 meeting in North Park.

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The organization held an information meeting at Lafayette Hotel on April 26 to give an update. Dave Gatzke, vice president of acquisitions at CHW, spoke about a 2011 survey done for the LGBT center by research consultant Jim Zians, Ph.D.

Gatzke said the study included such LGBT seniors' concerns as “lack of family and community social support, facing social isolation, lack of affordable healthcare and financial concerns.” Overall, there's a lack of “LGBT-affirmative housing today,” Gatzke added.

Anne Wilson, CHW's senior vice president of real estate, said the elimination of redevelopment money makes financing of low-income projects more difficult. They must rely on a limited number of low-income housing tax credits provided by the state of California, Wilson said.

Preliminary design

The seniors project is part of two CHW residential developments at the corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue in North Park. It will offer 76 affordable apartments in a courtyard setting with underground parking. The Center's senior-services staff will serve residents' needs, according to Dr. Delores Jacobs, CEO of the Center.

CHW has begun the process of hearings and community input and hopes to get full city approval by late this year. Construction is planned for sometime in 2015, but it could be later, Wilson stressed to attendees at the meeting. It's all in the funding, she said. Construction costs have not yet been determined.

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Future site of apartments
Future site of apartments

When LGBT, low-income seniors in San Diego seek affordable apartments where they can live comfortably around their peers, they have this number of choices: zero. But that will change when the first affordable San Diego apartments for LGBT seniors are completed in North Park.

There are only a few such housing developments in the country (two are in Los Angeles). The nonprofit housing developer, Community HousingWorks, decided awhile back to work with The LGBT Center of Hillcrest on a future project. CHW previously offered a rough design concept at a November 2013 meeting in North Park.

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The organization held an information meeting at Lafayette Hotel on April 26 to give an update. Dave Gatzke, vice president of acquisitions at CHW, spoke about a 2011 survey done for the LGBT center by research consultant Jim Zians, Ph.D.

Gatzke said the study included such LGBT seniors' concerns as “lack of family and community social support, facing social isolation, lack of affordable healthcare and financial concerns.” Overall, there's a lack of “LGBT-affirmative housing today,” Gatzke added.

Anne Wilson, CHW's senior vice president of real estate, said the elimination of redevelopment money makes financing of low-income projects more difficult. They must rely on a limited number of low-income housing tax credits provided by the state of California, Wilson said.

Preliminary design

The seniors project is part of two CHW residential developments at the corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue in North Park. It will offer 76 affordable apartments in a courtyard setting with underground parking. The Center's senior-services staff will serve residents' needs, according to Dr. Delores Jacobs, CEO of the Center.

CHW has begun the process of hearings and community input and hopes to get full city approval by late this year. Construction is planned for sometime in 2015, but it could be later, Wilson stressed to attendees at the meeting. It's all in the funding, she said. Construction costs have not yet been determined.

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Comments

AS opposed to what? Low-income NON-LGBT seniors?

May 1, 2014

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. But here's an LA TIMES article that further explains why such housing is needed: http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-gay-elder-housing-20140420,0,1569370.story

May 1, 2014

More housing for seniors with very limited incomes is sorely needed especially in San Diego's more densely populated areas. I'm sure that no on one meeting the income and age qualifications would be turned away from applying for an apt. Seniors, especially ones that are GLBT are especially vulnerable to discrimination from their peers. A welcoming, reasonably priced, safe place to live would be a godsend to them.

May 2, 2014

This will likely catch on in many others cities. And as you say, legally the project cannot demand evidence that the person is an LGBT senior.

May 2, 2014

The project is moving along. Here's a recent notice posted on the property.

None

June 7, 2014

To Blue Montana on Facebook: Correction: The apartments at 30th and El Cajon are NOT specifically for LGBT seniors. Same thing on Georgia. This is the first such property in San Diego.

Jan. 7, 2016

To Vannie Vogt on Facebook: There is no discrimination, as you stated by mistake. Applicants cannot be asked about their sexual orientation. And how can you apply anyway, as you live in NJ?

Feb. 19, 2016

July 2016 Update: Construction is starting soon.

July 9, 2016
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