San Francisco moved a step closer to getting its first
affordable housing development for lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgender seniors.
The project, which is being developed by Openhouse and
Mercy Housing California, was unanimously approved by the
The 110-unit development would be the largest in the
country targeting LGBT seniors.
With the Planning Commission approval secure, developers
will focus on assembling the local, state, and federal
funding sources needed to build the project. Construction
is expected in late 2014.
"The 55 Laguna development addresses a critical need for
LGBT seniors who face enormous challenges in finding
welcoming and affordable housing," said Seth Kilbourn,
executive director of Openhouse, in a statement. "For
decades, thousands of LGBT people have come to San
Francisco to find personal freedom and acceptance. As older
adults with increasing needs, the pioneers of this
migration are being forced back into the closet in order to
receive the quality care and housing they need. They are
being forced to relocate and leave dear friends behind. 55
Laguna will be a critical community resource to help LGBT
seniors age with dignity and grace in the city they call
The proposed development also includes the Openhouse
service offices and a center for residents and LGBT seniors
from across the city. More than 25,000 LGBT seniors live in
San Francisco, according to the developers.
The project is part of a larger development that will
include 330 new multifamily rental units being developed by
Wood Partners. Fifty of the multifamily units will be
available to low-income renters. Wood Partners plans to
break ground on the larger project in early 2013.
Mercy Housing is a leading affordable housing developer
and provider, and Openhouse is a provider of services to