Doorbells were rung to commemorate the official opening of the John C. Anderson Apartments.
A ribbon ceremony was held yesterday for the John C. Anderson Apartments, a dmhFund and Pennrose Properties’ project which provides LGBT-friendly, low-income senior housing in the heart of the Gayborhood. A number of state and local officials attended, including Mayor Nutter and Senator Robert Casey and a letter of congratulations from President Obama was read at the ceremony.
There’s a clear need for the home: a 2013 study by the Philadelphia Public Health Management Corporation found that 48 percent of local LGBT seniors found it difficult to find affordable housing and 13 percent were living in unstable environments
“It’s a dream come true,” said Mark Segal, dmhFund president and publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News, in a press release.
“To be standing here, looking at all we’ve accomplished, is truly amazing. To know that our seniors, those who paved the way for the rights we have today, finally have a proper home to call their own is just beyond words.”
Segal said in a phone interview that the building was created so that those who may have helped to paved the way for LGBT rights in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s (who are now seniors) can have a safe, affordable place to live. He added that one 80-year-old resident said it was one of the first places he felt he could feel safe.
The apartments are named after John C. Anderson. Segal said Anderson was an African American city councilman who fought for a variety of civil rights, including a civil rights bill for sexual minority individuals before his death in 1983 because of AIDs-related illnesses.
The developers partnered with four key organizations to provide social services and events to its tenants. These organizations include the Mazzoni Center, ActionAIDS, the William Way Community Center, and the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.
The 19.5 million dollar project was funded by a Philadelphia HOME grant, Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds, and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.
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