Wednesday was the “topping-off” ceremony for what officials describe as New York City’s first LGBT-friendly affordable senior housing building and the largest such development in the country. The traditional ceremony signifies the symbolic completion of the structural phase of construction.

Ingersoll Senior Residences, one of the New York City Housing Authority’s first 100% affordable housing program developments, according to officials, is expected to open for residents in June 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, considered to be the beginning of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights movement. The 17-story building in the borough of Brooklyn will have 145 units of affordable senior housing and a 7,600-square-foot SAGE Center that will provide social, health and wellness, and culture and arts activities, including technology access and training.

“It is our hope that this project will continue the conversation about how stakeholders across the nation can further step up to aid elders of the LGBT community, many of whom have played a direct role in the fight for civil rights and equality that began with the Stonewall Uprising and continues today,” said Don Capoccia, principal and founder of developer BFC Partners.

The 54 studio and 91 one-bedroom apartments will be potentially available for people aged 62 or more years who earn up to 60% of the area median income. The new housing and SAGE Center will be open to all qualifying low-income seniors, but BFC Partners and LGBT advocacy and support organization SAGE said in a press release that they have worked together to ensure that the building is “uniquely designed to meet the needs of older members of the LGBT community.” Members of this population statistically are more likely to face housing discrimination and harassment and are less likely to have children and other family members to help care for their needs, they said.

“Today we celebrate being one step closer to realizing a decades-long dream of providing LGBT-welcoming and affordable housing for our LGBT trailblazers,” SAGE CEO Michael Adams said.

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