SAGE and Citi Community Development Announce Expansion of SAGE LGBT Elder Housing Initiative that Boosts Access to Safe, Affordable Housing for Seniors
Affordable Housing Advocate Kelly Kent to lead National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative
Launched last year, the SAGE LGBT Elder Housing Initiative is a comprehensive national program to expand access to safe, affordable, and welcoming housing for LGBT older adults. The Initiative supports LGBT older adults in existing senior housing while simultaneously accelerating the development of housing specifically designed for them.
To facilitate this expansion, SAGE has named Kelly W. Kent as Director of its National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative. Kent will implement and scale SAGE’s strategy within affordable housing projects and promote best practices for building inclusive housing among the housing development sector, community groups servicing LGBT individuals, policymakers, and regulators.
“With Citi Community Development’s support, SAGE will be able to take a stand helping older LGBT adults find safe, affordable and LGBT-friendly housing.” said Michael Adams, Chief Executive Officer of SAGE. “Kent’s experience as an affordable housing executive and his record supporting LGBT issues will help SAGE ensure that the communities it serves are treated with justice and dignity as they seek the kind of housing they deserve in their older years.”
“The LGBT population age sixty and above is expected to grow from 3 million in 2013, to 7 million by 2030. Yet, nationwide there are approximately 500 units of affordable housing focused on the needs of the LGBT elderly,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance. “Citi’s support of the LGBT Elder Housing Initiative will enable SAGE to scale their efforts to expand access to safe and affordable housing for LGBT seniors and to engage with the wider affordable housing community to help ensure that vulnerable groups and minorities are, from a cultural and social perspective, included in all affordable senior housing developments in the United States.”
A report by the Equal Rights Center, with support from SAGE, found that 48% of older same sex couples applying for senior housing were subjected to discrimination. The effects of this discrimination are further exacerbated by the fact that LGBT older people have lower incomes and less retirement savings than older Americans do in general.
“We can’t merely build our way out of this crisis,” Kent said. “Through this initiative, we will need to build capacity using multiple strategies that mobilize the support of community, government and business leaders. Now, more than ever, we must make sure that LGBT elders have safe and affordable housing.”
The National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative is also supported by the Calamus Foundation and takes action by following a multi-pronged approach that includes:
- Building LGBT-affirming senior housing in select cities
• Training senior housing providers in fair and welcoming treatment of LGBT older people
• Changing public policy to end housing discrimination against LGBT older people and expand federal support of LGBT-inclusive elder housing
• Equipping LGBT older people with the resources they need to find— and advocate for—LGBT-friendly housing in all its forms
• Expanding services that support LGBT older people who face housing challenges.
Kent comes to SAGE with nearly two decades of experience at both non-profit and government agencies that seek housing solutions for at-risk populations. He has held executive positions at NeighborWorks America, LifeWise Renovations, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Quadel Consulting Corporation and the Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri.
In 2015, Citi Community Development supported SAGE in the development of a cultural competency training webinar for housing providers so that they are able to meet the affordable housing needs of LGBT seniors. This initial investment led to the expansion of SAGE and Citi Community Development’s collaboration on the SAGE LGBT Elder Housing Initiative.
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people. SAGE also offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competence training through SAGECare. With staff in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of affiliates across the country. Learn more at sageusa.org.
Citi Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi.