After more than two months of waiting, older adults who submitted a housing lottery application for the Center’s upcoming senior affordable housing units will find out if they obtained a coveted spot on the list.
Notifications were mailed on May 22 to the 506 people chosen at random to be potential residents of The Ariadne Getty Foundation Senior Housing complex, which is scheduled to open in December.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center received a total of 1,369 applications for a chance to live in one of the 98 units designed for people 62 years and older.
“Senior housing is very scarce and the need is very great,” says Tripp Mills, associate director of housing and training for the Center’s Senior Services department. “We could build 12 of these complexes and fill them up with LGBTQ older adults immediately. We still have a huge unmet need.”
The senior housing, which contains studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments with rents up to $1,175 per month, is located within the Center’s intergenerational Anita May Rosenstein Campus, which also has a youth housing component being built across the street.
Of the 98 units for seniors, 72 will be leased through the lottery system. The remaining units will be set aside for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness whose rents will be paid for by county and city grants.
It is a requirement to have multiple applicants selected per unit so those who do not get an apartment will be waitlisted. Property management team Thomas Safran & Associates input all of the eligible applicants into a database; a computer then randomly picked 506 applications as lottery winners.
The next step for lottery winners is to undergo proof of age, proof of income, rental history, and a background check.
“The goal is to fill these units up with seniors who would benefit the most from services at the Center,” Mills explained. “What is really great about this is that the housing complex is literally sharing a wall with the Center’s Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Senior Center. You can walk out the front door and have access to our suite of senior services. That is incredibly unique.”
Residents can easily access Center programs specializing in HIV-related wellness, gender identity, and LGBTQ social and cultural support. Other services include meals, case management, employment training, and more than 100 monthly free or low-cost activities.
Just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, Senior Services staff spent eight consecutive days assisting prospective residents with the application process. Online applications closed on March 4; paper applications postmarked by March 11 also qualified for the lottery.
“Our department is working extra hard to help applicants navigate through this difficult time—whether they got on the list or not—to make sure they have the proper support and resources,” Mills says.
For more information about the Center’s Senior Services, visit lalgbtcenter.org/seniors.