Plans unveiled for first LGBTQ+ retirement home

Housing association Great Places has launched a public consultation on plans to create the UK’s first purpose-built majority LGBTQ+ Extra Care housing scheme in south Manchester.

The development is planned for the site of the former Spire Hospital in Whalley Range which was demolished in 2019 and the brownfield site has since remained vacant.

The planned scheme will deliver 80 one- and two-bedroom social rented apartments for older people in a brick building of four to five storeys. The low-carbon scheme will include shared facilities, lounges and treatment rooms and landscaped gardens.

Residents will be required to be aged 55 years or over, with the majority being members of the LGBTQ+ community from Manchester.

Living alongside allies and other members of the local community, the aim is to “provide an open and inclusive, physical and psychological place of safety for the older LGBTQ+ community and a welcome addition to the Whalley Range area.”

The site will also include a neighbouring separate shared ownership block consisting of around 40 apartments, a mix of 1 and 2 bed apartments, delivering affordable homes to first time buyers and eligible customers.

Helen Spencer, our Executive Director of Growth at Great Place said: “We believe this scheme will not only meet the specific needs and aspirations of the LGBT+ community, but also enhance the diversity and vibrancy of Whalley Range as a neighbourhood.”

“We look forward to hearing the views of the local community and working with our partners, Manchester City Council and LGBT Foundation, to make this vision a reality.

Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and development, said: “This is landmark development for Manchester’s LGBTQ+ community and there has been a lot of interest in this development already.

“We know there is a gap in the market for affordable housing for older people where care needs are met onsite – and where they can feel accepted and live with dignity.”

Paul Martin, CEO at LGBT Foundation, said: “The views of the local community are key to making this development a success and we encourage people to use their voice to help shape the future of this landmark project, to ensure it offers a safe and welcoming home for older LGBT+ people.”

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