New York City is facing an unprecedented senior housing crisis, as Baby Boomers age in. A report on the 2010 census from the NYC Planning Dept. projected a 40% increase in New Yorkers over 65 between 2010 and 2040 - from 1 million to 1.4 million. Where will they live?
LGBTQ+ elders face a number of challenges beyond those of the general elder population.
They are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to:
lack support networks
live in poverty
experience discrimination in housing and health care delivery
Whether because of first-hand experience or anecdotal knowledge they hear, many LGBTQ+ seniors go back in the closet when it is time to access senior services. This prevents them from realizing their full elder potential, does not allow them to share their grief for lost partners and spouses, prevents them from having a robust support network, and can compromise their medical care and overall well-being.
A controlled study published in 2014 in 10 states uncovered a 48% discrimination rate against same-sex older adult couples in housing inquiries. We need affordable and supportive housing to provide a safe environment for our LGBTQ+ seniors and the only way to ensure that is to be in charge and create the opportunities ourselves.
To the right, you can find a link to the discrimination study.