Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Housing Projects for LGBT Elders Stalled Due to Economy

Housing Projects for LGBT Elders Stalled Due to Economy - NAM
SAN FRANCISCO -- The economic crisis has stalled the construction of many housing projects run by the public and private sector, and top among them is affordable housing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) seniors.

A case in point is Openhouse, an organization dedicated to providing social, health and community services for LGBT elders. After 10 years of working to gain entitlement from the City and County of San Francisco, in April 2008, Openhouse was finally granted permission to build an affordable housing facility in the heart of San Francisco for low-income LGBT seniors.

The organization struggled to clear many hurdles, even gaining a positive vote on the project from the SF Board of Supervisors and support of neighborhood groups. Unfortunately, the economic crisis stalled the building project.

“Right now things are a little bit slowed down on that project, but we are still moving forward and working with our private developer to identify investors, said Seth Kilbourn, Openhouse’s executive director. “But the Mayor’s Housing Office will help us finance the project since it’s an affordable housing facility.”

In Boston, Mass., Stonewall Communities is another organization with a similar project in the works. All the paperwork cleared to begin building their LGBT elder facility in Kennmore Square. However, according to David Aaronstein, founder of Stonewall Communities, city approval coincided with the real estate market crash. That project too is now on hold.....

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