Community HousingWorks (CHW), a nonprofit in San Diego, has partnered with the San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center) to design senior living apartments in a supportive environment for the LGBT community.
The development, proposed to the San Diego Planning Commission, will feature 76 apartments on the corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue and a 118-home multifamily building on the northeast corner.
Though anyone that meets the age and income criteria are welcome to live in the apartments, the LGBT-affirming complex is “specifically meant to address a 2011 community needs assessment” led by The Center.
According to The Center, the biggest concerns of LGBT seniors were fear of social isolation, lack of access to culturally competent health and social services, financial concerns and a lack of access to safe, affordable and affirming housing options.
“Our mission is to provide housing that meets the unique needs of each community, and this has been identified as one of the primary needs in the areas of North Park and Uptown,” CHW president and CEO Sue Reynolds said.
Staff from The Center’s Senior Services will provide options for a healthy senior lifestyle to residents.
“We’re very enthusiastic about this collaborative project,” The Center’s CEO Dr. Delores Jacobs said. “LGBT seniors have very few options for affirming and supportive housing – and for our low-income seniors, the situation is even more difficult. This development provides a significant step in the direction of making sure LGBT seniors in San Diego can live with dignity. The fact that it’s a CHW development makes it even more exciting, as it gives us full confidence that it will be a safe, supportive, well-planned community that anyone would be proud to call home.”
Affordable housing in California has become limited after the loss of Redevelopment Agency, but these apartments will use an affordable housing density bonus.
“I’m thrilled that this mixed-income approach allows us to bring both high-quality market rate development to North Park and offset the gap in funding we have in building affordable housing,” CHW vice president Dave Gatzke said.
According to the organization’s website, The Center is the nation’s second oldest and one of the largest LGBT community centers. Functioning as the LGBT community’s anchor organization, The Center is led by a 15-member board of directors, employs over 40 paid staff and utilizes more than 800 community volunteers to achieve its twin goals of promoting LGBT health and human rights. The Center provides direct program services to the many different facets of the LGBT community, including men, women, youth, seniors, families, LGBT Latino community members and their families, and those struggling with HIV. Last year The Center provided more than 60,000 direct service visits to San Diego community members, and through its events, activities and advocacy, touched the lives of thousands more.