Cincinnati’s first LGBTQ+ seniors affordable housing community has opened in the Northside neighborhood.
Developed by Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation (NEST) and Pennrose, John Arthur Flats offers 57 new homes for people aged 55 and over.
“NEST is thrilled to see this project come to fruition, bringing much-needed affordable housing to our community. Northside is a dense and vibrant neighborhood where our new neighbors can thrive and enjoy the strong community around them,” said Sarah Thomas, Executive Director of NEST. “Our partnership with Pennrose has delivered exactly what we envisioned: a carefully planned and well-executed project providing safe and affordable housing to those who need it most.”
The three-story building features studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments available to residents earning between 30% and 60% of the area’s median income (AMI), with rents ranging from $444 to $1,212 .
Project officials noted that studies have shown that older LGBTQ+ people experience higher rates of housing discrimination and poverty, making them particularly vulnerable to housing vulnerability.
The apartments have modern kitchens with electric cookers and dishwashers. spacious closets; carpeted bedrooms and vinyl living areas; ceramic bathtubs; and central air conditioning. Pet-friendly accommodations are also available. Residents will also have access to on-site community amenities, including a Resident Lounge; an on-site laundry room; a modern fitness center; an outdoor patio and picnic area; a wellness suite; a pet play area; grounds landscaped by professionals; and an on-site management team.
Additionally, residents will have access to strong on-site support services, including social programs, community events and medical care. Services will be provided by Pennrose Management Co., CAIN (Churches Active in Northside) and Caracole, the Greater Cincinnati Area nonprofit HIV/AIDS service organization.
“Our country is facing a serious housing affordability crisis, and we are proud to work with NEST to help close this gap in Cincinnati with high-quality, affordable housing paired with tailored, on-site support services.” , said Timothy I. Henkel, director and president of Pennrose. “Many LGBTQ+ seniors have faced decades of discrimination, and we hope John Arthur Flats will serve as a model for other cities to create inclusive housing options where seniors can live authentically and age comfortably. .”
The community is named after the late John Montgomery Arthur, a Cincinnati native and husband of the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. Additionally, the community hall is named after the late Maureen Wood, a longtime Northsider and LGBTQ+ pioneer.
This $13 million redevelopment is funded by low-income housing tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, with the credits syndicated by CREA. The development is also supported by HOME funding from the City of Cincinnati, an award from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati Affordable Housing Program and debt underwritten by Fifth Third Bank.
Pennrose leaders say they are committed to developing high-quality, affordable LGBTQ+ inclusive housing across the country. Most recently, the company celebrated the grand opening of The Pryde, the transformation of a 1920s schoolhouse into Boston’s first LGBTQ+-designated housing estate.