Resource Center, the largest LGBTQIA+ organization in Texas, has begun construction on Oak Lawn Place, the first LGBTQIA+ affirming affordable senior housing development in North Texas. The 84-unit development, located at 5723 Sadler Circle in Oak Lawn, is being built to help meet the growing demand for affordable housing in the area, particularly among the LGBTQIA+ community.
According to a study by the AARP Foundation, nearly one-third of all LGBTQIA+ seniors live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level due to the lack of financial resources and legal protections that are afforded to same-sex couples. North Texas is home to approximately 13,246 LGBTQIA+ seniors, with that number expected to double in the next ten years. While this development is open to all, it will be an affirming and safe place for the LGBTQIA+ community.
“We are seeing and serving a larger number of LGBTQIA+ seniors, most of whom have struggled to live in a world that has been hostile to them for most of their lives,” said Resource Center CEO Cece Cox in a groundbreaking ceremony on May 12. “As a result of not having been able to marry, we have fewer financial assets, are less likely to have health insurance and have fewer support networks such as biological family and children who can care for us as we age. Oak Lawn Place is a beacon of perseverance, hope and love and will help fill that gap with welcoming, inclusive access to affordable housing.”
The 79,650 square-foot, five-story project will feature 79 one-bedroom units and five two-bedroom units, and the complex will feature LGBTQIA+ affirming art by renowned North Texas-based artists Ted Kincaid and Scott Anderson. The cost for the project is $31 million, funded by low-income housing tax credits, tax increment financing from the City of Dallas, a grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank/Dallas, funds from the American Rescue Plan Act via Dallas County, Community Project Funding directed from the office of U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, loans from The Real Estate Council and Dallas Housing Opportunity Fund, and generous support from corporate, foundation and individual donors.
The construction development team includes Matthews Southwest, Volunteers of America, Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation, Perkins Will, Spring Valley Construction Company and property management by Volunteers of America TX. Additional support was provided by Jennifer Hicks of True Casa Consulting, Dianna Grey Consulting and Coats Rose, P.C.