UK to open first LGBT + retirement home as market grows
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Britain’s first LGBT + retirement home is set to open in mid-2021, the housing association behind London’s riverside apartments said on Tuesday, highlighting a market growing number of older people who do not want to be forced into the toilet.
There is a critical need for housing for older LGBT + people, said Anna Kear, CEO of Tonic Housing, as many say it would be “terrifying” to live in a predominantly heterosexual house where other residents do not accept them. .
“People say if they get to this point they would rather (die by) suicide than go to a heterosexual care home or sheltered housing, which is just horrible,” she said. declared to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
With an aging population, demand for specialist housing for the elderly is increasing, with private pension units accounting for 0.6% of UK housing and worth around £ 29 billion in 2018, according to the Knight Frank estate agency.
Tonic Housing, which works to tackle loneliness among older LGBT + people, sells shares of up to 75% in 19 apartments designed by famous architect Norman Foster in the bankhouse retirement community, which owns a rooftop terrace on the banks of the Thames.
The housing association has secured a £ 5.7million loan from London Mayor Sadiq Khan to buy apartments in the district of Lambeth, where nearly 6% of residents identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual – the highest percentage in England.
“Our approach to services and support will not only be ‘LGBT + compatible’, but will truly affirm the lives, stories, needs and wants of LGBT + people,” Tonic Housing said on its website, adding that sales would start in a few months. .
“(This) does not imply the exclusion of those who do not identify as LGBT +, but actively values those who respect and celebrate LGBT + people,” he said, believing that Britain matters more one million LGBT + people over 50.
While the program is expected to be Britain’s premier LGBT + retreat center, they are relatively common in the United States, where the number of LGBT + people over the age of 50 is expected to more than double to 7 million by 2030, against 3 million today.
The percentage of the UK population who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual is steadily increasing, from 1.6% in 2014 to 2.2% in 2018, according to official data.
There is a marked change among younger people – just over half of 18-24 year olds say they are only attracted to the opposite sex, according to an Ipsos Mori poll last week.
Stephen Lowe, spokesperson for retirement specialist Just Group, said Britain may see more LGBT-specific retirement centers in the future.
“The Village of Tonic Housing appears to be… a good example of a market responding to changing demand,” Lowe said.
Report by Hugo Greenhalgh @hugo_greenhalgh; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit news.trust.org