NY nonprofit plans LGBT-friendly housing development

In the metropolis that helped give rise to the modern gay rights movement, a new housing project is building homes for its aging members.

The LGBT Network showed off plans for a 75-unit affordable housing apartment complex that embraces lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) residents, the first development of its kind in Long Island, New York. The Islip Town Board is expected to vote on the development this fall.

The proposed $30 million development by the D & F Development Group of Levittown is planned for downtown Bay Shore and will be anchored by a new 8,000-square-foot community center for the LGBT Network.

“The need for LGBT housing is exponential,” says David Kilmnick, CEO of the LGBT Network to Newsday.

Studies have shown LGBT seniors, who may have a chosen family rather than a nuclear family, don’t have the same support networks. Fear of discrimination in a long-term care dwelling may cause some to go back into the closet, which can cause isolation, depression and reduce quality of life.

Tenants must be at least 55 years old and meet income requirements. Developers say they will do extensive outreach to the LGBT community to apply, and there will likely be a lottery process to select tenants. Rents are expected to be about $1,000 to $1,600. 

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