Ambitious project to create a community aimed at older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
According to research by the Manchester-based charity LGBT Foundation, LGBT people experience disproportionately higher levels of of isolation and loneliness in later life.
Cllr Bev Craig, Manchester City Council’s lead member for LGBT women, said in a statement: “Prejudice and discrimination can be a real problem facing older LGBT people. People shouldn’t have to face the prospect as they get older of being surrounded by people who may not accept their sexuality or gender identity.
“Older people should never feel isolated by who they are, or who they love. Alongside improving this in general provision, it is time that we develop a scheme in Manchester that provides care for LGBT people, providing a place where the LGBT community can give each other a network of support in older age.”
Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “It is imperative that we move now to create the housing necessary to support older people and meet demand before it’s too late. This scheme will provide that support for group of people who would otherwise struggle to find the appropriate accommodation, and I’m keen to develop this project given Manchester’s standing as an LGBT friendly city, and our status as an international Age-friendly city.”
Paul Martin, chief executive of LGBT Foundation, said: “Our research highlighted that over half of the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people over 55 surveyed felt that their sexual orientation would have a negative impact on getting older, with social isolation identified as a major concern. Manchester prides itself as an Age Friendly City, and we welcome the announcement of this scheme as a significant move towards improving the lives of older LGBT people in the area.”
Bob Green OBE, CEO of Stonewall Housing, said: “Stonewall Housing has been talking with our communities about the need for older LGBT housing for some time because we need and want a better choice of where we live in our later lives. It is very exciting that Manchester City Council are leading the way in delivering the dream of LGBT-affirmative Extra Care housing and we look forward to working with them and a range of partners in making this dream a reality.”
There are similar projects in San Francisco and Stockholm.