We are planning to redevelop the parking lot of the Helen V Apartments at 14th and Union. The Helen V, which CHH has owned for 16 years, serves as an affordable home for low-income seniors and individuals with permanent disabilities. This project will upgrade the Helen V, add an entirely new mixed-use building with affordable homes, and create a welcoming environment for LGBTQ elders in our neighborhood to age in place.
For the past few months, we’ve been meeting with dozens of LGBTQ-serving organizations to better understand how we can leverage design, social programs and health interventions in the building to support aging LGBTQ community members.
This project supports our LGBTQ elders who, compared to their peers, are more likely to live in poverty, be at higher risk for illness, and have less support of children or biological family. LGBTQ seniors often find themselves isolated in traditional retirement communities, and are frequently forced back into the closet to survive.
As an organization with deep roots on Capitol Hill, we seek opportunities to meet emergent needs in this community. At a time when rising rents and rapid change threaten the neighborhood’s LGBTQ identity, projects like this embody our commitment, above and beyond developing affordable housing, to building vibrant and engaged communities.
This project will be financed with LIHTC, public funds and bank financing. In a community where there is a significant need for affordable housing, there is also a significant demand on resources. Timing of the development will not be known until all financing is secured.
We’ll have more to share in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, I invite you to join us on September 21st from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM at Gay City’s Calamus Auditorium for an evening of food, speakers and conversation about health and housing for LGBTQ elders. You can register for the event here, or RSVP on Facebook.