Cincinnati’s first LGBTQ+-friendly affordable senior housing community has opened its doors in the Northside neighborhood.
Developed by Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation (NEST) and Pennrose, John Arthur Flats provides 57 new homes for seniors 55 and older.
"NEST is thrilled to see this project come to fruition, bringing long-awaited affordable housing to our community. Northside is a dense, vibrant neighborhood in which our newest neighbors will be able to flourish and enjoy the strong community around them,” said Sarah Thomas, executive director of NEST. “Our partnership with Pennrose has delivered exactly what we envisioned—a thoughtfully planned and well-executed project providing safe, affordable housing to those who need it most."
The three-story building includes studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments available to residents earning between 30% and 60% of the area median income (AMI), with rents ranging from $444 to $1,212.
Project officials noted that studies have shown that LGBTQ+ seniors experience higher rates of housing discrimination and poverty, making them especially at risk of housing vulnerability.
The apartments feature modern kitchens with electric ranges and dishwashers; spacious closets; carpeted bedrooms and vinyl living areas; ceramic-tiled baths; and central A/C. Pet-friendly units are also available. Residents will also have access to on-site, community amenities, including a resident lounge; on-site laundry facilities; a modern fitness center; an outdoor terrace and picnic area; a wellness suite; a pet playground; professionally landscaped grounds; and an on-site management team.
In addition, residents will have access to robust on-site supportive services, including social programming, community events, and medical care. Services will be provided through Pennrose Management Co., CAIN (Churches Active in Northside), and Caracole, the Greater Cincinnati region’s nonprofit HIV/AIDS service organization.
“Our country is facing a severe housing affordability crisis, and we’re proud to work with NEST to help close this gap in Cincinnati with high-quality, affordable housing paired with tailored on-site supportive services,” said Timothy I. Henkel, principal and president at Pennrose. “Many LGBTQ+ seniors have faced decades of discrimination, and we hope John Arthur Flats serves as a model for other cities to create inclusive housing options where seniors can live authentically and age in place comfortably.”
The community is named in recognition of the late John Montgomery Arthur, a Cincinnati native and husband of the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. In addition, the community room is named in honor of the late Maureen Wood, a longtime Northsider and LGBTQ+ neighborhood pioneer.
This $13 million redevelopment is financed with low-income housing tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, with the credits syndicated by CREA. The development is also supported by HOME funding from the city of Cincinnati, an Affordable Housing Program award from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, and debt underwritten by Fifth Third Bank.
Pennrose leaders say they are committed to developing high-quality, affordable LGBTQ+-inclusive housing across the country. Most recently, the company celebrated the groundbreaking of The Pryde, the transformation of a 1920s school into Boston’s first designated LGBTQ+-friendly housing development.