Following the announcement to make the UK’s first LGBT retirement community last week in Manchester, Megan Green speaks to Marketing, Communications & Campaigns Manager at the LGBT Foundation, John Walding, to find out more about how the plans came about.

The LGBT Foundation, in response to the Manchester City Council, have conducted research as part of the “State of the city report” by looking at various communities and underlining issues they found.

“One thing we highlighted was the fact that there are more or less around about 7 thousand people in Manchester who are over the age of 50 and identify as LGBT,” John explained.

This figure is expected to increase over the next two decades, meaning a larger aging LGBT population.

Mr. Walding stated that: “the report also indicated higher levels of loneliness and isolation that affects people who are elderly and LGBT.

“The one thing they worry about in particular is fear of discrimination, also social isolation, so it’s a big worry for a lot of people who are in the LGBT population and worry about getting older.”

Manchester city council not only teamed up with the LGBT Foundation, but also with Stonewall Housing and the Homes and Communities agency.

“They’re planning on developing a particular community which will provide housing for the LGBT population,” John clarified.

The community will have a minimum of 51% of LGBT residents. Heterosexual people would also be welcome to live within the community.

Mr Walding confirmed “this type of affordable housing will have staff and carers as well. Pets will be welcome, so it’s particularly significant to older people without children or families because that’s another thing we need to think about.”

There is currently an increase towards adopting within the LGBT community, however with the current aging population there may be a large number of LGBT people who do not have children or family, causing the feeling of isolation.

The plans for the UK’s first retirement community aims to support the elderly LGBT community that struggle in these circumstances.

Dates for the plans to proceed are yet to be confirmed.

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