SAGE, the world’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, will be continuing the learnings from its first-ever National LGBT Elder Housing Symposium with a virtual institute held from October 13 — 16. Finding a safe, affordable home to grow old in is a concern for so many older people in this country. These concerns are exacerbated for LGBT elders by experiences of discrimination—from property managers, staff, other residents, or service providers—when seeking rental and senior housing. According to an Equal Rights Center study, 48% of same-sex couples are subjected to discrimination when applying for housing. SAGE’s National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative works to address these obstacles through education, national advocacy, and efforts to build developments.
The 2020 National LGBT Elder Housing Virtual Institute will offer workshops, engaging dialogue, and learning sessions to build the capacity for understanding and attending to the housing challenges LGBT elders face. Throughout the virtual institute, members of the housing sector and community advocates will explore best practices, identify challenges, and innovate housing solutions within the context of a racial justice framework and the global pandemic.
“Between the risks of COVID-19, the economic crisis, and the welcome rise in demands for racial justice, LGBT-friendly elder housing is advancing on increasingly complicated terrain. The National LGBT Elder Housing Virtual Institute will offer valuable insight on how to address these ever-growing complexities,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “This critically important convening is an opportunity for communities, developers and other key stakeholders to come together to learn from each other how to advance a multitude of strategies to address the crises in housing access and affordability facing so many LGBT elders.”
“For LGBT elders and other vulnerable populations, housing is a vital foundation for safety and resilience, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hala Farid, SVP, Citi Community Investing and Development. “By supporting this year’s Virtual Institute, we aim to help connect housing leaders and service providers as they move the needle on creating tailored housing solutions that meet the needs of LGBT populations and other diverse groups.”
At this year’s Virtual Institute, SAGE will officially launch the first module of the National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative Housing Development Toolkit, a guide featuring strategies for developers, nonprofits, and community-based organizations to develop LGBT-affirming affordable housing. Nine additional toolkit modules will continue to be released over the coming year.