The scheme will provide housing for those aged 55 and over.
A project that was first announced back in 2017 has finally moved forward, with plans aiming to deliver more than 100 apartments for the over 55’s within the LGBTQ+ community in South Manchester.
Consisting of a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership tenures, the scheme will ensure there is safe and accessible housing available to the community, with high-quality housing and the reassurance and flexibility of having essential on-site services, such as care and catering, which may be more appropriate to their needs in later life.
A former Spire Hospital site on Russell Road, Whalley Range has been acquired for the project, and councillors have been working closely with the LGBT Foundation to hash out exactly how the scheme should work, and what they’ll need to provide to help the community as they grow older.
Cllr Bev Craig, Manchester City Council’s lead member for adult health and well-being, said: “Manchester was proud to be the first place in the country to announce such a scheme so it’s great to see this scheme come to fruition. Our ambition came on the back of years of research and engagement with older LGBT people. We’ve been working closely with the LGBT Foundation and local people for some time to ensure the site, location, the principles of the scheme, and eventual design principles work – both for the LGBT+ community, but also for the local people in Whalley Range.
“We already know LGBT+ people are more likely to be lonely later in life, and as this community is growing, it shows that this Extra Care is not only welcome but absolutely needed.”
Paul Martin OBE, CEO of the LGBT Foundation said: “It’s fantastic to see the LGBT Extra Care Scheme move forward into the next stages of development. Everyone deserves to have access to safe, affordable housing where they can be sure they feel secure and welcome.
“Many older LGBT people have grown up in a world hostile to their identities, and are worried about their future, particularly if they are likely to require care in later life. This scheme is a vital and exciting step forward for our communities and the Learning Journal will track our journey and share recommendations for other schemes that will follow.”
The housing scheme will provide a vital ‘safe’ space for Manchester’s older LGBTQ+ community, who Manchester City Council have identified through surveys experience higher levels of loneliness, isolation and fear of discrimination. Find out more about the plans here.