SAGE is going virtual this year with its elder housing symposium, offering workshops and learning sessions highlighting the challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults.

The National LGBT Elder Housing 2020 Virtual Institute began Tuesday and will continue the conversation begun at last year’s symposium. The four-day institute will focus on anti-racism and providing non-oppressive and safe spaces for LGBT people to age. 

New York-based SAGE also will launch the first module of the National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative Housing Development Toolkit during the Virtual Institute. The guide provides strategies for developers, nonprofits and community-based organizations to develop LGBT-affirming affordable housing. Nine additional toolkit modules will be released in the coming year.

SAGE CEO Michael Adams said the Virtual Institute will offer insight into how to address the complexities of LGBT senior housing.

“Between the risks of COVID-19, the economic crisis and the welcome rise in demands for racial justice, LGBT-friendly elder housing is advancing on increasingly complicated terrain,” Adams said. “This critically important convening is an opportunity for communities, developers and other key stakeholders to come together to learn from each other how to advance a multitude of strategies to address the crises in housing access and affordability facing so many LGBT elders.”

Tuesday’s discussion included housing experts and advocates discussing tools and best practices for developing and sustaining affordable housing for LGBT elders. Upcoming discussions will look at equitable housing models, funding strategies for housing development, and policy, legislative and community advocacy.