THE UK’s first housing scheme for older members of the Manchester lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) community is planned for Manchester.
Manchester City Council announced the plans following an LGBT Foundation report that suggested that that older members of this community were prone to higher levels of loneliness and isolation.
Over half of respondents over the age of 55 felt their sexual orientation would have a negative impact on them as they grew older.
Paul Martin, chief executive of LGBT Foundation, said: “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.”
— Manchester City Council (@ManCityCouncil) January 19, 2017
With demand set to increase, council leaders are determined to create the necessary housing required to support older people, of all walks of life, before it is too late.
Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “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.”
According to the earlier report, there are more than seven thousand people in Manchester over the age of fifty who identify as LGBT, though this is set to grow as the general population ages.
Cllr Bev Craig, Manchester City Council’s lead member for LGBT women, said: “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.”
The scheme is supported by the LGBT Foundation and Stonewall Housing, and while heterosexual residents will be welcome, there will be a minimum of 51% of housing set aside for LGBT residents.
Bob Green OBE, CEO of Stonewall Housing, said: “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.”
The Manchester LGBT community will be well served by these much needed developments.