On February 10, the White House Office of Public Engagement welcomed 100 service providers, advocates, community leaders, and Administration officials who are dedicated to supporting the needs of our aging LGBT community members.
As the number of Americans age 65 and older surges over the next few decades, the number of LGBT older adults is estimated to double to 3 million by 2030. By this year – 2015 – one in two individuals who are HIV-positive in this country will be over age 50. Many struggle to find welcoming and affordable housing.
The National LGBT Elder Housing Summit was a unique opportunity for the White House to bring together the LGBT community and the aging network to discuss the intersecting challenges communities across the country have faced in providing affordable, welcoming, and supportive housing to LGBT older adults and older adults living with HIV/AIDS. Through panel discussions and open dialogue, experts from far and wide talked about some of the most pressing needs for the LGBT aging population, as well as successful, creative programs and services.
Attendees heard keynote remarks from Jennifer Ho, Senior Advisor on Housing and Services for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, during which she discussed some of the strides HUD has made to better assist the LGBT aging population and the continued Agency-wide work being done to improve ongoing challenges in the community.
During a portion of the Summit, attendees participated in a listening session with Kathy Greenlee, Administrator of the Administration for Community Living and Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Nora Super, Executive Director of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. This session allowed attendees to hear about plans for the upcoming White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA), and provide feedback about how to continue to make the LGBT aging population part of the WHCOA.
The Summit provided an opportunity to hear from panelists from Washington and across the nation to share best practices in successfully meeting some of those challenges. Attendees also sought and provided ideas for the ways in which federal, state, and local housing policy can shape service in the years to come.
For more information on the White House Conference on Aging, please visit: http://www.whitehouseconferenceonaging.gov
For resources for LGBT older adults please visit: http://www.aoa.acl.gov/AoA_Programs/Tools_Resources/diversity.aspx#LGBT