Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward), the Center on Halsted and Heartland Housing, Inc. announced Monday that redevelopment plans to create affordable LGBT-friendly senior housing in Lakeview would move on to the next stage.
“Since our announcement last year, many people have already begun to contact my office to express their support. I am excited to say we are one step closer to making this project a reality,” said Tunney in a press release. “This facility will be the first of its kind in the Midwest and will be a destination where our seniors can have a safe space to live their lives with pride and confidence.”
In May 2011, Heartland Housing, Inc., a division of the Heartland Alliance, and Center on Halsted were chosen to redevelop the 26th District Town Hall police station and adjacent city-owned land at 3600 N. Halsted St. into a 90-unit affordable senior living community. City funding for the project was selected by the Department of Housing and Economic Development, which will continue to work with Heartland into the second stage of the allocation and reservation process.
“We applaud Mayor Emanuel and the Department of Housing and Economic Development for bringing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and other seniors within reach of safe and affordable housing options in the Lakeview community. We look forward to breaking ground on the project, and eventually, opening new doors to seniors in need,” said Michael Goldberg, executive director of Heartland Housing Inc.
The senior living community will be open to all seniors who meet the age minimum and fall below the income ceiling. Heartland joined the Center on Halsted, which is next to the development site, to help create an LGBT-friendly living environment for seniors by offering resident and community-based services for seniors who will live in the new-construction building. In addition the Center plans to expand its existing Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elderly (SAGE) program, according to the release.
“Due to a lack of adequate housing options, LGBT Seniors are often forced back into the closet as they get older,” said Modesto Tico Valle, CEO of the Center on Halsted. “This project will unlock new possibilities for LGBT Seniors, by providing an affordable and affirming place to live their golden years right in the heart of Chicago.”
Current plans aim to preserve a major portion of the old police station and create retail space on the first floor.