The White House itself rang congratulatory bells last month when the Philadelphia Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) committed to helping fund a new public-private housing initiative in Philadelphia targeted to LGBT elders.
The project, which is to be built on Philadelphia’s 13th Street, between Locust and Spruce, is expected to have 6 stories and 56 bedrooms. It will be available to those who are aged 62 and older who earn less than 60% of the Philadelphia median income. $11 million of the necessary $19 million price tag has now been secured.
The White House memo on the financing, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/16/public-private-partnerships-ingenuity-and-11m-tax-credit-provides-innovative-housing, notes that “Under this Administration, [the Housing and Urban Development Department] has been a leader in advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, and has treated the fight for equality not as an issue, but as a priority.” The memo ends with this memorable line: “And HUD will continute to take an active role in ensuring that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community not only has a seat at the table — but also a place to call home.”
If you can be in Miami on May 7, 2012, make sure you plan to go to the White House LGBT Conference on Aging, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Miami’s Clinical Research Building at 1120 NW 14th Street.
The conference will feature keynote remarks by Kathy Greenlee, the openly lesbian Assistant Secretary on Aging for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Raphael Bostic, the openly gay Assistant Secretary for Policy & Research Development at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“The White House LGBT Conference on Aging will provide advocates, community leaders, and members of the public an opportunity to engage with the Obama Administration on the health, housing, and security needs of aging members of the LGBT community. Participants will receive updates from senior officials from The White House and key agencies and departments, connect with Federal government resources and opportunities through workshop sessions, and provide valuable feedback through the “Open Space” process.”
To sign up (which includes places to say what specific issues or topics you would like to explore during the conference and what kinds of resources and information you’d like to access there), go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/webform/white-house-lgbt-conference-aging
Last month the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Administration on Aging held an historic all-day summit on housing for LGBT elders.
This summit is now available for online streaming at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=%2Fpress%2Fmultimedia%2Fvideos It is broken into three segments, with my presentation on the housing-related issues facing transgender elders in the second segment.
This week I had the honor of speaking at yet another groundbreaking Obama Administration LGBT effort: an all-day, web-broadcast Summit on LGBT Senior Housing, held in the headquarters of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and co-sponsored by the Administration on Aging. Continue reading
Wednesday, December 7, 2011, FORGE’s Transgender Aging Network will be among those speaking at a groundbreaking LGBT Senior Housing Summit put together by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Administration on Aging.
The summit will be simulcast on the web from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/webcasts/schedule The agenda is available here: http://www.huduser.org/publications/pdf/LGBTEldersHousingSummitAgenda.pdf
During the webcast, audience questions can be sent via Twitter (#LGBThousing) or email (LBGTelderhousing [at] hud [dot] gov). The webinar should be archived for later retrieval.
One of the LGBT policy advances we’ve seen under the Obama Administration is a commitment to ensuring that federal programs under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Administration recently published proposed rules to implement these changes and is soliciting professional and public input until March 25, 2011. These proposed rules — available at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=LGBTPR.PDF – specifically prohibit HUD programs (including FHA mortgage insurance programs and federally-supported housing programs for older adults) from asking about sexual orientation or gender identity. The rules also give more expansive definitions of a “family” or “household” to ensure that LGBT families are included. Two additional programs of note that are included under the new provisions are the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS. (Interestingly, the introduction to the rules cites, among other things, the large discrimination study just sponsored by the National Center on Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which FORGE has been summarizing here.)
John Johnson, full-time federal lobbyist for the LGBT aging community (employed by SAGE), suggests that comments include the following:
- Brief introduction
- Your credentials
- How the rule or change will impact your agency and/or your constituents
- Ask what change you would like to see
- Say why it is important
- Thank them for their time
- Provide your contact information
HUD prefers that comments be submitted electronically; those with privacy concerns should note it appears these are available online to anyone who cares to search them. Comments can also be submitted by mail. For more information and for contact information if you have questions, see the website noted above.