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Great Places Housing launches historic consultation for UK’s first LGBTQ+ housing scheme

In a groundbreaking move, Great Places Housing Association initiates a public consultation for the UK's first purpose-built LGBTQ+ housing scheme on the former Spire Hospital site in Whalley Range, Manchester.
Spire Hospital Former Site LGBTQ+ Housing

In a historic move, a public consultation has been initiated for the “UK’s first purpose-built” LGBTQ+ housing scheme, set to transform the vacant site of the former Spire Hospital in Whalley Range, Manchester.

Great Places Housing Association is spearheading the initiative, with plans to construct 80 one and two-bedroom flats catering to individuals aged 55 and above. The development will boast shared facilities, including inviting lounges for residents.

The UK’s first Purpose Built LGBTQ+ Housing

Encouraging community engagement, Paul Martin, representing the LGBT Foundation, emphasised the importance of local voices in shaping the success of the project.

Speaking to I Love MCR, he 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+ Housing Support

“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.”

Part of the inclusive design involves a majority of LGBTQ+ residents from Manchester living alongside other members of the local community.

Additionally, the project features a separate shared ownership block, comprising around 40 one and two-bedroom apartments.

Have Your Say On The Project

Public consultation meetings are scheduled at the Russell Road site on January 12th (14:00 – 20:00 GMT) and January 13th (12:00 -14:00 GMT). Alternatively, individuals can provide their views online until March 8th.

Helen Spencer, Executive Director of Growth at Great Places Housing Association, 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.”

Crucially, the plans have been meticulously developed with input from the Russell Road Community Steering Group and Manchester City Council.

Councillor Gavin White, Executive Member for Housing and Development, anticipates the site becoming a “landmark development for Manchester’s LGBTQ+ community.”

He said: “I’m very pleased that we can announce Great Places as the preferred provider for the groundbreaking 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.”

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