A northern housing association has been announced as the preferred provider to design, build and manage the UK’s first purpose-built LGBTQ+ majority older person’s housing scheme in Whalley Range, south Manchester.
Great Places Housing Group will manage the project, and will deliver more than 100 apartments for people aged 55 or over, with a mix of affordable homes that are as accessible as possible to Manchester people.
The details of the proposed scheme will be developed with the input of the Russell Road Community Steering Group, Manchester City Council and LGBT Foundation. The announcement marks the start of joint working and co-production to enable scheme proposals to be taken to the next stage.
South Manchester-based Great Places owns 25,000 affordable homes in more than 30 local authority areas across the North-West and South Yorkshire. It was selected through a competitive process and has extensive experience of designing, developing and managing a wide variety of affordable general needs, supported and specialist housing.
Manchester City Council is funding a 3-year post at the LGBT Foundation to facilitate community consultation with the LGBTQ+ and Whalley Range communities, and further research the housing, health, care and support needs of the LGBTQ+ community.
Paul Martin, OBE, CEO LGBT Foundation, said: “The creation of the UK’s first purpose-built LGBTQ+ majority Extra Care housing scheme is a positive and exciting step in addressing the housing needs of our older LGBTQ+ people. Today’s announcement is an important step in the project’s development, and we are looking forward to working with Great Places to deliver this ground-breaking scheme for our community.”
“LGBTQ+ individuals are at greater risk of social isolation, discrimination, and poor health outcomes as they get older, and many may not have access to supportive networks of family and friends. The Russell Road Extra Care housing scheme is designed to address these challenges by providing a purpose-built, inclusive environment where LGBTQ+ people can live independently, but with access to care and support services as needed and the scheme aims to promote greater social connection, reduce social isolation, and improve the health and well-being of its residents.”
“The ambition is that the Russell Road scheme is a model that other cities and communities can look to as they seek to create more inclusive and supportive environments for their older LGBTQ+ communities.”
Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and development, said: “ I’m very pleased that we can announce Great Places as the preferred provider for the ground-breaking LGBTQ+ majority, extra care housing scheme in Whalley Range. Great Places has a proven track record of delivering high quality housing across the city and will bring that expertise into this much needed scheme.
Extra Care homes create safe, vibrant communities which help residents to live independently as their needs and lifestyle change. Importantly, these homes will also be low-carbon and affordable, further supporting our affordable housing delivery targets.”
Helen Spencer, Executive director of growth at Great Places, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen as the preferred housing provider to deliver and manage Greater Manchester’s first LGBTQ+ majority extra care housing scheme.
“The Russell Road site presents an exciting opportunity, and we look forward to working with the LGBT Foundation, the Community Steering Group and Manchester City Council in delivering this unique and ambitious scheme.”