Affordable Housing for LGBTQ Seniors is Coming to Northside

Featuring a mix of apartments, the project aims to provide community-based services to Cincinnati’s aging LGBTQ population.

Northside will soon be home to an all-new LGBTQ housing center for seniors. Developed by Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation (NEST), the new facility will provide area LGBTQ seniors with a three-floor building with a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments. The building is being developed in partnership with Philadelphia-based property group Pennrose, which has already developed similar housing sites in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

Photograph courtesy of NEST

Located at 4145 Apple St., the new building will be located at the site of a defunct Save-A-Lot. NEST is in the process of securing funding for the project, and if the proposed timeline stays on track, construction on the housing center is expected to begin in January 2021 and will take about a year to complete.

According to NEST’s executive director, Sarah Thomas, this property will cater to Cincinnati’s LGBTQ community over 55 years of age. “The first generation of ‘out’ people in the community are aging and looking at remaining in the community and in safe and affordable housing,” she says. “Northside is a neighborhood that has always had a good relationship with the LGBTQ community, so this project is perfect for Northside and for a larger national conversation about aging LGBTQ community members.”

The new apartments will be near Northside’s busy Hamilton Avenue stretch of restaurants, shops, and services, which Thomas says is intentional. “When we were looking at specific types of housing projects, we spoke to many local nonprofits, including Caracole,” she says of the Northside-based HIV/AIDS service organization. “They will have staff there to help residents, and we can refer clients over to them.” Thomas also cited Churches Active in Northside (CAIN) as one of the project’s partners. “We’re getting input already about the kind of community programming we can offer,” Thomas says. “A lot of these services will bounce between health and social services.”

Ultimately, Thomas says, the new apartment building will provide LGBTQ Cincinnatians a place to call home. “When you think of the timeline of the history in the LGBTQ community and the neighborhood, this project was a perfect fit,” she says.

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