karendesuyo via Flickr

The first purpose-built LGBTQ+ housing scheme for the older generation will provide over 100 apartments for people aged 55 or over.

Manchester City Council has announced Anchor Hanover – England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care for people in later life – has been chosen as a preferred partner to deliver the scheme.

The upcoming LGBTQ+ project will deliver more than 100 apartments for people aged 55 or over.

Anchor Hanover’s Extra Care housing scheme will offer care, catering, and other lifestyle services to aid elderly residents.

The extra care facility in Whalley Range, South Manchester, will be the first LGBTQ+ older person’s housing project that is co-produced with LGBT+ Foundation and the local Manchester community.

There are currently more than 7,000 LGBTQ+ people in Manchester over the age of 50 and this figure is expected to rise over the next two decades.

Concerns have been shared about this specific sect of the community who indicated higher levels of loneliness and isolation amongst LGBTQ+ older people, according to an LGBT+ Foundation report commissioned by Manchester City Council.

The older LGBTQ+ community also experience fear of discrimination in existing accommodation and seek out housing where they are able to express their identity without facing hostility or prejudice.

LGBT+ Foundation, which is co-producing the new LGBTQ+ friendly housing, has received Homes England funding to produce an online Learning Journal about the history of the Manchester scheme.

This project will be set up to help other UK councils and cities develop LGBTQ+ Extra Care schemes across the country.

Cllr Bev Craig of Manchester City Council has announced she is “proud” to see the scheme make progress.

“It’s great to see this scheme come to fruition. Our ambition came on the back of years of research and engagement with older LGBTQ+ people,” Craig said in a statement.

“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 LGBTQ+ community, but also for the local people in Whalley Range.

“We already know LGBTQ+ 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.”

Cllr Suzanne Richards, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said:

“Extra Care housing has proven hugely popular and this first of a kind LGBTQ+ scheme on Russell Road is an important addition to our Extra Care offer in the city. This scheme is part of a programme of 730 extra care homes built in the past few years for older people in the city. Crucial for us is that these schemes are accessible to and affordable for Manchester people.”

Anchor Hanover’s Head of New Business, Charles Taylor, is “delighted” to deliver accessible homes in a place where there is a thriving LGBTQ+ community.

“We look forward to collaborating with Manchester City Council and the LGBT+ Foundation to develop a place where people can continue to love living in later life,” Taylor said in a press release.

Paul Martin OBE, CEO LGBT+ Foundation, has also shared enthusiasm over the Manchester project.

“It’s fantastic to see the LGBTQ+ 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,” Martin said in a statement.

“Many older LGBTQ+ 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.”

Dating back to 1975, LGBT Foundation is a national charity delivering advice, support and information services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities.