Tonic Housing is to begin work on opening the UK’s first LGBT+ retirement community after securing a £5.7m loan from the Mayor of London.
The GLA Community Housing Fund is to be used to purchase 19 homes within One Housing’s Bankhouse older living scheme in Lambeth.
Anna Kear, CEO, Tonic Housing, said: “We are making history today, realising a long held dream to provide a safe place for older LGBT+ people to live well, in a community where they can be themselves and enjoy their later life. We applaud the Mayor of London for recognising and supporting the needs of older LGBT+ Londoners.
“We intend this to be the first of many Tonic retirement communities, achieved by working in partnership in London and other cities. These first homes, that are already built and currently empty, will enable people who need and want this accommodation to have the benefit of it immediately.
“Working with One Housing, we can complement the excellent care services that they provide for residents in the scheme. We intend that future Tonic schemes will provide a range of tenures directly, created through further acquisitions or new developments. Bankhouse is an important milestone in Tonic’s evolution. We’re so excited to get our future residents settled in their new homes and living in our community. Moving in is just the beginning!”
Sales of 1 and 2 bedroom shared ownership homes are due to begin in late spring 2021, with the first residents expected to move in from mid-summer 2021.
Tonic@Bankhouse will create a unique offering of housing with care that celebrates LGBT+ identities with the community at the very heart of their homes. Tonic will co-create events and activities with residents based on their interests, including collaborations with other LGBT+ organisations and support providers.
Richard Hill, Chief Executive, One Housing, commented: “We are delighted to be working alongside Tonic Housing and the GLA to provide homes for older LGBT+ people. We have a long history of investing in homes and communities and providing assisted living to older people. We look forward to welcoming new LGBT+ customers to Bankhouse where they’ll be able to enjoy all the advantages of independent living with on-site care and support when they need it.”