Financing in hand, Florida’s first LGBTQ+ senior housing development breaks ground

$15M project will have 48 units

Oct.October 24, 2019 04:30 PM
Rendering of The Residences at Equality Park and Stephanie Berman

Rendering of The Residences at Equality Park and Stephanie Berman

UPDATED, Oct. 24, 5:10 p.m.: Carrfour Supportive Housing and The Pride Center have secured all of their funding for what is expected to become the first LGBTQ+ senior housing development in Florida.

Construction is now underway on The Residences at Equality Park, a 48-unit building at 2040 North Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors, said Stephanie Berman, president and CEO of Carrfour Supportive Housing. The $15.3 million project is being funded with $11.2 million in Florida Housing Finance Corporation tax credits, a $450,000 gap loan from Broward County, $550,000 gap loan from Florida Housing Finance Corporation, a $50,000 gap loan from the city of Wilton Manors, a nearly $863,000 Florida Housing Finance Corporation Viability loan, and a $1.3 million grant from the Weinberg Foundation.

The donation was the last piece of funding needed to build the project in Wilton Manors, which is home to a large LGBTQ+ population. It’s been in the works for over seven years, and Berman said the delays were in part due to gaps in funding that needed to be filled.

The development will provide affordable housing and on-site services for low-income senior adults living with disabling conditions, with a focus on members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning community. The new building will connect to the Price Center, giving residents access to its services and programs.

“The hope is that the folks living there will be able to age in place, have roots in the community and be successful,” Berman said.

Few LGBTQ+ senior-focused housing projects exist in the country, with some in Los Angeles, Long Island, San Diego, Chicago and Philadelphia.

The four-story building is expected to be completed by the end of next year. It would start accepting applications about 90 days before it receives a certificate of occupancy. It will have a fitness center, library and computer room, and the entire campus includes 30,000 square feet of office and meeting space for programs and services.

Monthly rents will range from $350 to $1,029, with 34 units set aside as permanent housing for low-income seniors ages 55 and older with a disabling condition. Of the 48 units, 43 units will be available to residents earning 60 percent or less of Broward County’s area median income – a maximum annual income of about $35,400 per year for a one-person household, and about $40,400 per year for a two-person household.

The remaining five units will be set aside for people earning 33 percent or less of the area median income, a maximum of about $17,700 per year for a one-person household, and about $20,200 per year for a two-person household.

The development marks the first outside of Miami-Dade County for Carrfour Supportive Housing, which is also working on a supportive housing project in West Palm Beach’s Northwoods Shore neighborhood geared toward individuals with severe or persistent mental illnesses.

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