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Our Mission

To see New York City's LGBTQ+ older adults in safe, welcoming housing they can afford, with access to health and mental health services that meet their unique needs.

Our Vision

A world where all LGBTQ+ elders thrive in affordable homes, within affirming, caring, supportive communities.

The Issue 

Older adults face challenges of declining health and physical ability, the loss of friends and lifetime partners, and social isolation.  The housing affordability crisis looms as a potential issue for many seniors, but older LGBTQ+ people face additional challenges. They are more likely to face or fear housing discrimination and harassment. They  suffer high poverty rates. They often lack family caregiving networks. 

Our Ethos

We are committed to addressing housing and health needs for LGBTQ+ older adults across the spectrum of wellness and physical ability, from completely independent through supported or assisted living. We seek to serve clients across the full economic spectrum, from market rate to deeply affordable. In creating financial feasibility we want to consider mixed-income, mixed-use, and cross-subsidized units when possible and appropriate.  

Legal Realities

If we use government subsidies, we cannot create set-asides for LGBTQ+ older adults.  Given that reality, one of the main challenges of creating successful LGBTQ+-friendly senior housing is developing novel and innovative strategies to ensure a majority of the tenants are LGBTQ+. 

Promise and Possibilities

LGBTQ+-friendly housing projects are being built across the country with varying degrees of success. Learning from both the successes and failures of those who have gone before and combining that knowledge with ongoing NYC field data we are constantly collecting and analyzing is the cornerstone of our success. Stonewall CDC is creating cutting-edge programs that are contributing to what is becoming a national and international movement to ensure LGBTQ+ seniors have the comfort and security they have earned and deserve. 

Our Value Add

As a commercial development partner

One of our value adds for commercial developers is our non-profit status which provides access to critical benefits and advantages like receiving and processing tax credits, and eligibility for government grants and contracts.

We offer a marketing advantage by virtue of our proven ability to navigate the city’s affordable housing system, having placed over 1000 families in permanent homes from February 2022 through December 2023.


For developers who wish to create LGBTQ+-welcoming housing we offer our ongoing market profile research on LGBTQ+ senior needs and preferences and the strong relationship of trust we have built with the community through organizing, education and program services.

As a creator of innovative housing and healthcare opportunities

The LGBTQ+ community, has a shared lived experience of fighting oppression, and a history of building networks of care and support for our community as we did during the AIDS crisis.  We have resources, resilience and creativity, and we have a large pool of baby boomers with appreciated real estate assets, no one to care for them and no one to inherit their assets.  We see this as a great opportunity to create new intergenerational community-based paradigms of housing and care that largely remove commercial intermediaries from the equation.

Partner networks 

Stonewall CDC has developed and cultivates two critical partner networks:

  1. Building Development: Developers, financiers, architects, and government policy agents

  2. Health & Wellness: Medical providers, social service organizations, home care providers, community-based organizations


We are identifying and convening the thought leaders within these networks. This “brain trust” helps Stonewall CDC process the data we are mining and helps us develop solutions and innovations that can bridge policy gaps and identify service priorities.

Community education and organizing

Our virtual community – Stonewall Village NYC (SVNYC) acts as a link to the aging sector and its industries, providing resources, information and ongoing education about the challenges and opportunities of LGBTQ+ senior housing.  SVNYC works with senior centers hosting ongoing online and in-person programs and classes for folks who are unable to attend live events, building community and countering the devastating loneliness and isolation faced by so many.  “I was so lonely, I’d have the devil keep me company,” shared one senior, a victim of elder abuse.  Online programs are uniquely supportive for those who cannot leave home due to health constraints.

Commitment to Ongoing Research

Stonewall CDC is building an ongoing body of data on the housing, health, and mental health needs specific to our New York City LGBTQ+ older adult population to formulate and test evidence-based strategies for meeting those unique needs through innovative housing models and service delivery.​​

Research Results

Results from our NYC field research correspond to previous national data that show more pronounced health and mental health issues with LGBTQ+ seniors than with their heterosexual counterparts. We believe that further research may warrant the creation of LGBTQ+-specific senior medical practices.

We see this reality as a result of decades of discrimination, now a major contributing factor in the current housing challenge. Today, widening gaps in policy and practice are resulting in the categorical underserving of this population. Further, housing policies at every level of government present legal obstacles to the obvious remedy of building affordable housing and related services and setting them aside specifically for LGBTQ+ seniors.

Highly Educated and Economically Diverse - A Formula for Success

In 2017 Stonewall CDC completed the first ever NYC-wide survey that assessed housing and related health service needs of LGBTQ+ seniors. The response from the community was significantly stronger than anticipated, suggesting that the problem is even more critical than is commonly thought. With 966 respondents, we nearly doubled our initial target goal of 500 surveys. Whenever possible, the survey design drew on validated questions and city-defined criteria for affordable housing. The report on this survey provides the most significant market profile of this population to date.

The LGBTQ+ activist community in NYC is skillful at standing up for our rights, thanks in large measure to the diversity of our political coalition, which cuts across race, ethnicity, and socio-economic advantage. 


The LGBTQ+ older adult population in New York City represents a well educated, but often under-resourced community. In our recent survey, 71.9% of the sample had a four-year college degree or higher, even though more than 50% of the sample were under 50% Area Median Income (AMI) and 23.5% were under 30% AMI. This represents a highly educated pool of applicants, 73% of them low-income.  In turn, this creates a community affinity that cuts across socioeconomic lines, making integration of various AMI levels more organic and seamless, and mixed-income and cross-subsidy models more likely to succeed.


According to the survey, the desire to live in environments that are LGBTQ+-competent and friendly is a key factor in their decisions


Ongoing Research and Development

Stonewall CDC will build on the success of our initial survey through ongoing research and development, with field data collection built into all of our activities. The goals are to:

  1. Create an NYC-specific evidence-based platform of knowledge from which to model potential housing programs. as well as attendant senior services delivery and clinical eldercare specific to the unique needs of LGBTQ+ seniors, housed within our buildings

  2. Develop a pool of trained and qualified LGBTQ+ senior applicants who have prepared themselves and their documents for successful housing applications

  3. Pre-qualify this pool of applicants for smooth transitioning to Medicaid and Medicare through document preparedness and asset compliance

  4. Enforce a standard of LGBTQ+ and aging cultural competency that must be met by all applicants, vendors, and service providers

  5. Identify geographically-specific concentrations of LGBTQ+ elders currently living in close proximity to potential development sites, which can be relied on to justify onsite LGBTQ+ senior-specific services. These LGBTQ+ NORCs (“Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities”) will also make it more possible to track health and mental wellness trends within these communities.​​

Stonewall CDC Capacity

Stonewall CDC is ideally suited to play the multiple roles described above.

The Stonewall CDC Board of Directors provides both breadth and depth of experience in urban planning, real estate development, government relations, capital projects, government funding, community and political organizing, community development, community boards, housing law, human rights, geriatric care, nursing, home care, and not-for-profit management.


Stonewall CDC excels in placing individuals in permanent housing.  In the Spring of 2023, our work in this area and the innovations we have brought to the process were spotlighted in a study out of the Harvard Center for Joint Housing Studies.

Executive Director Paul Nagle has more than 35 years in not-for-profit business development and strategic growth. He served for eight years in direct government service, working for an NYC City Council Member. In that capacity, he served as Budget Director, overseeing all capital grant contracts for the District’s community-based organizations. He also worked extensively on affordable artists’ housing as an economic development policy issue.


Stonewall Community Development Corporation is taking an evidence-based approach to developing and implementing innovative responses to the growing crisis in LGTBQ+-friendly senior housing. Given New York City’s ambitious affordable housing goals, the time is right for policy elasticity and the consideration of new, more entrepreneurial approaches to building affordable housing for LGBTQ+ older adults. With that opportunity will come the challenge of providing suitable medical and mental health services.  Stonewall CDC is well positioned in every respect to meet this ambitious critically needed goal.

The Big Idea- Our Value Proposition

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