JUNE 22, 2022
PRESS RELEASE FROM WESTCHESTER COUNTY EXECUTIVE'S OFFICE
WESTCHESTER COUNTY EXECUTIVE ANNOUNCES GROUNDBREAKING LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY SENIOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
New Senior Affordable Housing in Downtown White Plains to Include the new LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center
(White Plains, NY) – Westchester County Executive George Latimer joined members of Westchester County’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Board, The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center, Monadnock Development and HANAC to announce Westchester’s first LGBTQ+ friendly housing development that will bring 140 units of affordable senior housing to downtown White Plains. It will also include a larger space for The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center to continue to support its advocacy, education and health programs.
Latimer said: “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. 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.”
The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center will occupy more than 7,000 square feet of 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.
While the housing is not exclusively for members of the LGBTQ+ community, this is the first housing complex in the 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.
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. Our long-standing goal of providing Westchester’s LGBTQ+ elders with safe, affordable, and affirming housing has arrived! In addition, our brand-new center will include space for our growing programs, and a home for a partner provider to offer medical and mental Health services specifically to LGBTQ+ individuals and families here in Westchester County. Having all these incredible services under one roof is truly groundbreaking and will no doubt become a model for others to follow nationally.”
Chair of the Westchester County LGBTQ+ Advisory Board Christopher Oldi said: “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. The Advisory Board looks forward to continuing to collaborate with The LOFT and HANAC as they embark on this incredible journey together!”
Chair of Monadnock Development Nick Lembo said: “Producing high quality, affordable senior housing is a critical part of the Monadnock Company identity. For almost 50 years, we have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to house vulnerable senior citizens in the best possible accommodations. We are energized by the opportunity to partner with HANAC and continue our mission in collaboration with Westchester County and the City of White Plains to provide best in class affordable senior housing. Furthermore, we are looking forward to having The LOFT provide essential services to the LGBTQ+ community out of our development. We thank County Executive Latimer for his vision and leadership.”
Executive Director of HANAC Stacy Bliagos said: “Since its inception in 1972, HANAC has provided services to all New York City residents who are in need without discrimination as to race, creed, national origin, or other defining characteristics. After 15 years of trying to bring senior affordable housing to Westchester, the Latimer Administration made it a priority and now a reality. We are honored to work with Westchester County and Monadnock Development to bring our services to White Plains, providing 140 units of affordable senior housing and social services to the community and creating an open and affirming environment for some of our most vulnerable residents. We are delighted that The LOFT and their valuable services will be in the building. We hope to serve the White Plains community for many generations to come.”
White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach said: “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.”
Westchester County LGBTQ+ Advisory Board Member, advocate and pioneer Michael Sabatino said: "It gives me great pleasure to see this project get off and running. I have been advocating for LGBTQ+ senior housing for a very long time with Judy Troilo of The LOFT. The majority of our seniors do not have extended families and are in great need of affordable housing and a living situation with like adults and supportive programs like The LOFT offers. I want to thank all involved that executed this project especially Monadnock Development and HANAC.”
Since the start of Latimer’s administration, nearly 4,800 units of affordable housing have been built, under construction or in the pipeline in Westchester County including Greenburgh, New Rochelle, Harrison and Yonkers.
This downtown White Plains development is slated to be completed by 2024.
***Rendering photo please credit: SLCE architects
***Group photo(L to R):: 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, Jewel Williams Johnson, Westchester County Legislator