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Plans unveiled for UK’s first LGBTQ+ care housing development for over-55s

The scheme would provide "affordable" flats with in-house care for older LGBTQ+ residents and allies

By Dale Fox

A couple of elderly women look out of their curtains of their home
A residential community for over-55 LGBTQ+ people could be coming soon to Manchester (Image: Pexels)

Plans have been unveiled for the UK’s first purpose-built care housing development aimed primarily at older LGBTQ+ people in Manchester.

The pioneering scheme is proposed for the site of a former hospital at Russell Road in Whalley Range, Manchester. It would deliver 120 affordable apartments, with 80 one and two-bedroom flats provided at social rent levels reserved for the over-55 LGBTQ+ community.

This would represent the first UK retirement housing complex with integrated care tailored to older LGBTQ+ individuals, featuring shared facilities and support services.

The plans have been developed by Great Places Housing Association together with Manchester City Council, the LGBT Foundation and local community representatives.

Hand-drawn building plans
Plans of how the development would appear (Image: Great Places Housing Association)

Helen Spencer, executive director at Great Places Housing Group, explained: “Russell Road will provide high-quality, affordable, and inclusive homes for older people who identify as LGBT+ or allies, as well as shared ownership opportunities for local residents.”

It expands on the Tonic@Bankhouse development in London. The development opened in 2021 as the UK’s first LGBTQ+ retirement community.

A “landmark development for Manchester’s LGBTQ+ community”

Manchester councillor Gavin White described the Russell Road development as a “landmark development for Manchester’s LGBTQ+ community.”

“We know there is a gap in the market for affordable housing for older people where care needs are met onsite – and where they can feel accepted and live with dignity,” he said.

The flats would be arranged around communal spaces intended to serve as an inclusive hub, reducing the risk of isolation often faced by older LGBTQ+ people.

Additionally, there would be a smaller block of 40 shared ownership homes marketed toward first-time buyers. All residents would have access to landscaped gardens.

Public consultation events will take place on 12 and 13 January. Subject to planning approval, construction could begin later this year.