Ground broken for LGBTQ-focused senior housing in Pittsburgh

Author: Trudy Ring

Ground has been broken in Pittsburgh for what will be the first LGBTQ-focused senior housing complex in western Pennsylvania and the second in the state overall.

Groundbreaking took place Thursday for the Mosaic Apartments in the city’s Oakland neighborhood, which is home to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, along with museums, health care providers, and an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. The 48-unit complex will open in the fall of 2025, according to local media.

The affordable housing development is a project of Presbyterian SeniorCare Network, which was approached about seven years ago by the Persad Center, a provider of LGBTQ-affirming mental health services.

“One of their staff members said, ‘Can you build us an apartment building?’ It was a beautiful opportunity for us to enhance our mission and help a greatly underserved and often discriminated-against population,” Jim Pieffer, president and CEO of Presbyterian SeniorCare, told TV station WTAE.

Presbyterian SeniorCare raised $30 million for the complex but was able to acquire the land for free thanks to the University of Pittsburgh and its medical center, Pieffer told another station, KDKA.

Persad Center CEO Martin Healey told KDKA that LGBTQ+ people sometimes encounter problems in senior housing. “It’s scary — you sometimes have to go back into the closet,” he said. “There’s not necessarily a safe space all the time. … We’ve seen situations where they have fear and have isolation and loneliness that hopefully this type of place will break.”

“My hope is that this is the start of something far bigger and far greater for our community, not just here in Pittsburgh, but more across the country,” he added.

By 2030, there will be 7 million LGBTQ+ seniors in the U.S., SAGE National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging estimates.

Prospective Mosaic Apartments residents can begin applying next March.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring

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