SAGE Housing Initiatives: Gay-Friendly Housing Options For Elders


Groovy Brooklyn gets groovier with gay housing.

Older lesbians living in New York and other major cities now have more and better options for housing. New residence options are opening up for older, low-income LGBTs, especially in New York and other US cities.

SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) announced on June 30, 2016, the launch of two new senior residences in New York City, designed to attract and serve elders, especially the LGBTQ community. The two new facilities will house low-income residents over 62, offering gay-friendly programming, such as Pride celebrations and visiting gay artists and writers, to residents and to other senior members of the local community, even if they do not live in the residences.

While both buildings will be open to people of all orientations (including heterosexuals), SAGE is promoting news of the lottery and hoping to attract a large LGBT cohort, as do similar complexes in Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Philadelphia.

The two facilities are Crotona Senior Residences, in the Bronx, which is in the groundbreaking stage and expected to cost about $38.4 million. Crotona will be open for residents within two years, according to Cathy Renna, communications consultant.

In Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the Ingersoll Senior Residences (ISR) building is being renovated at a cost of $47 million and will have 145 units. According to SAGE, ISR will be the nation’s largest LGBT-welcoming elder residence.

In addition to traditional services for seniors (such as meals, fitness and language classes), both centers will contain a SAGE center offering LGBT programming, such as Pride celebrations, and book and art clubs focusing on the work of gay artists.

Demand for places in the building is expected to be high, and a lottery will be held to assign places. According to Donald Capoccia, managing principal of BFC Partners, the Ingersoll developer, many LGBT seniors “do not have family and are single and rely on the kind of infrastructure that you can provide in a building like this.”

Funding for the building initiatives comes from a variety of sources, including New York state and city monies from agencies such as the New York City Housing Authority and the New York State Homes and Community Renewal.

The project is expected to help alleviate one of the pressing social issues of elder, urban LGBT residents: the need for decent and affordable housing. “LGBT older people face a housing crisis. These groundbreaking developments are an important step toward combating that crisis in New York City by providing not only affordable and welcoming housing but also on-site services pioneered through SAGE’s network of LGBT senior centers,” said Michael Adams, Chief Executive Officer of SAGE.