Britain's first LGBT retirement complex will open in London this year

Britain’s first retirement complex designed for LGBT people will open in London this year after ‘proud’ Sadiq Khan pledged £5.7million loan to complete scheme

  • UK’s first retirement community for LGBT+ people to open in London this year
  • Tonic Housing will purchase 19 already built flats at Bankhouse in Vauxhall
  • Housing association has secured £5.7 million loan from the Mayor of London

The UK’s first retirement community for elderly LGBT+ people has been given the green light to open in London later this year.

Tonic Housing said it would purchase 19 already built flats at the Bankhouse development in Vauxhall after securing a £5.7 million loan from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. 

The one and two-bedroom apartments apartments will be available to buy on a shared-ownership basis in late spring, with the first residents expected to be moved in by mid-summer. 

Mr Khan said he was ‘proud’ to be helping open the facility for older Londoners to be able to ‘enjoy their later years’. 

Tonic Housing will open the first retirement community for elderly LGBT+ people later this year

He said: ‘London is an open, diverse, inclusive city and I’m delighted to see these long-held plans come to fruition with the help of this loan and my Community-led Housing Hub.

‘Older Londoners deserve to be able to enjoy their later years in comfort and security, surrounded by a thriving, supportive community.

‘I look forward to seeing this realised at Bankhouse and to supporting Tonic’s work to establish further LGBTQ+ affirming developments in the years to come.’

Tonic Housing said services will be ‘genuinely affirming of the lives, histories, needs and desires of LGBT+ people’, adding this ‘does not imply exclusion of those who do not identify as LGBT but actively values those who respect and celebrate LGBT+ people’. 

The association added that properties will be coupled with care, events and activities which will ‘celebrate LGBT identities’.  

Bankhouse, run by One Housing, is an assisted living facility designed by renowned architect Norman Foster which overlooks the River Thames and features an on-site restaurant, floating garden and roof terrace.    

Tonic Housing CEO Anna Kear said the facility will be the first of many LGBT-friendly retirement communities they plan to open in the UK.

She 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.

The one and two-bedroom apartments apartments will be available to buy on a shared-ownership basis in late spring

‘We’re so excited to get our future residents settled in their new homes and living in our community.’

Cllr Jack Hopkins, Leader of Lambeth Council said: ‘I am delighted to see that such an innovative and positive new development for older LGBTQ+ people is happening here in Lambeth. 

‘Our borough is one that is truly diverse – we are really fortunate to have such a strong and thriving LGBTQ+ community living, working and visiting Lambeth. 

‘I want to thank the Tonic Housing team for their efforts, as well as our own council officers for working so hard together with One Housing colleagues to turn vision into reality.’

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