Construction Begins on LGBTQ+ Friendly Senior Project in Downtown White Plains

Construction Begins on LGBTQ+ Friendly Senior Project in Downtown White Plains
From left, Stacy Bliagos, Executive Director of HANAC; Michael Sabatino, LGBTQ+ Advisory Board; Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Judy Troilo, Executive Director of The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center; and Jewel Williams Johnson, Westchester County Legislator

WHITE PLAINS—Westchester County Executive George Latimer was joined by LGBTQ advocates and others on Wednesday (June 22) to turn the first dirt on the county’s first LGBTQ+ friendly housing development that will bring 140 units of affordable senior housing to Downtown White Plains.

The project will also include a larger space for The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center to continue to support its advocacy, education and health programs, county officials noted. Construction on the senior project is expected to be completed by 2024.

County officials were joined by Westchester County’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Board, The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center, Monadnock Development and HANAC at the press conference for the project that will involve a newly constructed building on the Southwesterly corner of Court and Quarropas streets in White Plains. HANAC and Monadnock will own and operate the housing components and work with The LOFT to ensure all seniors feel welcomed.

A rendering of the senior project to be built in Downtown White Plains.

While the housing is not exclusively for members of the LGBTQ+ community, this is the first housing complex in Westchester County that is friendly and supportive to LGBTQ+ residents with services being provided by the LOFT at the community facility space to assist with healthcare and more. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force estimates there are over three million LGBTQ+ seniors in the United States with that number expected to double by 2030. The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center will occupy more than 7,000 square feet of space at the newly constructed building

“This partnership will lead to the creation of a safer space for everyone, not just for LGBTQ+ people. We want our Westchester neighbors, no matter what age they are, to know this county is inclusive, their identity is accepted and they can make a home here,” said Westchester County Executive Latimer. “Affordable housing has been a priority for my administration and we want to reach all corners of the county with this opportunity. It will address the pressing needs of the LGBTQ+ community while expanding the vital services provided by The LOFT.”

Executive Director of The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center Judy Troilo said, “There was a time in our history, in the not so distant past, when members of the LGBTQ+ community weren’t living long enough to need senior housing. There was also so much fear associated with identifying as LGBTQ+ publicly. This housing today is a symbol of how far we have come. Granted, we still have a long way to go, but this is a tremendous day.”

Chair of the Westchester County LGBTQ+ Advisory Board Christopher Oldi added, “The addition of much needed senior affordable housing is a paramount concern for the community. Oftentimes, LGBTQ+ seniors are discriminated against or ostracized. We want our aging population to know they are welcome here in Westchester County. The Westchester County LGBTQ+ Advisory Board applauds the partnership between The LOFT and HANAC Development to construct senior affordable housing in downtown White Plains. The Board is so pleased that The LOFT will find itself in a new space, more accessible to public transportation, with the ability to reach an even wider swath of the queer community in Westchester (and beyond) than it already does.”

White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach said of the new downtown project, “Diversity produces vibrant communities. White Plains is a special place to live, work and play due in large part to its diversity. The project developed by the LOFT, Monadnock Development and HANAC embodies the best of the city. The addition of affordable senior housing and a space for a beloved community organization in the City of White Plains is a win-win.”

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