Construction is well underway on the new, LGBT-friendly affordable housing complex for seniors in downtown Bay Shore.
The foundation and first floor is already visible from the street.
This summer, the Town of Islip Planning Board voted to approve an application to build Long Island’s first of such complexes — at Park Avenue and Mechanicsville Road.
“The project is progressing on schedule,” said David Kilmnick, president and CEO of the LGBT Network. “But what is also building is the excitement of people in the community.”
The LGBT Network expects the project to finish construction in early spring 2021, with the first residents moving in later that year.
It’s planned to be 100-percent affordable for seniors.
While legally the building’s management can’t deny any person an application for housing, the intention is to market the complex to members of the LGBT communities.
Kilmnick told GreaterBayShore that 75 apartment units are being built, and that the group has more than four times that amount of interest from people looking to get in.
“The fact that we have a list of that many people proves the incredible need for affordable housing on Long Island for our LGBT seniors,” he said. “This is a very important project — it’s about our elders being able to age gracefully without fear of discrimination.”
Applicants must be 55 years of age or older. They must also make between 60 to 80 percent of the area’s median income to qualify. According to Newsday, that currently amounts to $35,000 to $85,000 a year.
Age and income is the only criteria prospective tenants need to prove.
Approved applicants will be chosen through a lottery.
More information on how to apply and the lottery process will be provided in the late fall to early winter, Kilmnick said.
A state-of-the-art, 8,000-square-foot LGBT community center is also being constructed at the complex. The center will provide services to residents and seniors throughout the region.
Kilmnick said that once this Bay Shore project is completed and proven successful, more such complexes could be proposed in the future.
“We need to take care of our elders who fought so hard for our rights so long ago,” he said.
Above photo of the construction of the new LGBT affordable housing complex in Bay Shore /Photo by Julianne Mosher