I recently read an interesting article on Yahoo news by Kathy Matheson entitled “Affordable Housing for Gay Seniors Opens in Pennsylvania.” This article discussed the opening of the John C. Anderson LGBT friendly senior housing apartment complex in the City of Philadelphia. The John C. Anderson apartments do not prohibit non-LGBT tenants, since the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, disability, familial status or national origin. (The FHA exempts senior housing as defined in the FHA). The apartment complex owners took advantage of the location of the property in an LGBT friendly area and marketed the apartment complex to the LGBT community as a place to find much needed affordable housing without fear of discrimination.
The John C. Anderson complex is just one example of how a community can provide inclusive housing opportunities for people that may have experienced unique problems in obtaining decent and affordable housing. The John C. Anderson apartment complex in Philadelphia is the third such U.S. LGBT friendly development. Los Angeles and Minneapolis also have similar complexes.
It is important for any developer considering a housing development marketed to a particular community in need of such housing, or a municipality reviewing such a development, to contact an attorney to ensure that the plan is structured in a way that will comply with all federal, state and local laws.
John C. Cappello is a partner on the Land Use/Environmental and Municipal Law Teams. He can be reached by phone at 845-778-2121 toll free or 845-778-2121 and by email.