Carina C. Zona bio photo

Carina C. Zona

Email Twitter LinkedIn

Oakmont is an enormous retirement community east of Santa Rosa, CA. Its developers are now building a retirement community for LGBT seniors in a luxury neighborhood of north Santa Rosa. The initiation fees and monthly fees clearly make this particular opportunity only viable for the wealthy. But I take it as progress that developers are convinced there's a big enough pool of people to make projects like this viable. I hope that its success will lead to some more affordable options being launched in the future.

Queer couples on average earn less than heterosexual counterparts, and that income gap widens for couples who raise children, for lesbian couples, and for non-white couples. The Defense of Marriage Act widens the gap further for aging, by denying access to a partner's federal pension, Medicaid long-term care benefits, and Social Security benefits. All of which adds up to an LGBT senior population with disproportionate need for affordable retirement housing.

PBS aired "A Place to Live" in June about the opening of the nation's first low-income housing project for LGBT seniors. The lottery applicants were each so emotionally invested. For some it represented the first opportunity in their lives to potentially get to be "out" in their own homes without fear of eviction. If it runs again, catch it. I enjoyed it thoroughly.