LGBT Friendly Housing Development On Long Island
Islip Town on Long island, New York has recently announced an LGBT friendly housing development on Long island. This $30,000,000 senior affordable housing development is a first of a kind. What is unique about this 75 unit affordable housing development is that it is being designed specifically for members of the LGBT community. The LGBT network showed off plans for this complex that they claim “embraces” lesbian, gay,bisexual or transgender (LGBT) residents. it also includes an 8,000 square foot community center for the LGBT Network.
I have no doubt that the LGBT community is aging much like the rest of the population and therefore needs affordable senior housing. I applaud Islip Town for recognizing the need and for working with the LGBT Network.
I have concerns over the term “embraces”, as I see it as a code word that if used by other members of society would be considered discriminatory. If this is a private development without any government funding or subsidies I might buy the use of this term and therefore the admissions process. However, my understanding of the public housing laws of this country is that they do not permit discrimination by race or sexual preference. To develop a publicly funded affordable housing project for one group while excluding all others is neither morally correct nor it it legal.
Isolating the LGBT senior community in a 75 unit development, while it might sound nice on first blush, but is it serving the best interests of the LGBT community. These people have lived their lives as members of the extended L.I. community going to work, and doing community based activities all their adult lives. To isolate them now is to force them back into a self imposed discriminatory setting.
I see nothing wrong with giving LGBT seniors priority into a new affordable housing development, but not one that does not serve all other seniors as well. Let’s take a step forward by providing affordable housing that includes the LGBT seniors on L.I. without isolating them and distancing them from the total community experience.
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