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November 14, 2016

Elderly LGBTQ housing discrimination discussed in Tucson at town hall meeting

News for Tucson- KVOA
By Sarah Herrera
TUCSON -A town hall event about housing discrimination against LGBTQ elders was held at the Donna Liggins Center. National and local speakers came to discuss issues and solutions with members of the community. The Pima Council on Aging was the project leader.

Arizona does not have statewide equality safeguards for the LGBTQ community to ensure there is not housing discrimination. Legal protections are on the city level. Tucson was an early adopter in establishing anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodation. It was enacted in 1977.

“Many of us think of bulling as something that happens to little kids, but it happens to adults as well,” said W. Mark Clark, President and CEO of Pima Council for Aging.  “Sometimes that ends up causing people to have to pick up and move.”

Among the speakers was Gustavo Velasquez, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD.)

Also in attendance was the Tucson Police Department. It shared its ‘safe places' initiative that was launched last month. (Read more about this by clicking here)

One attendee who faced discrimination at an active adult community in Marana said his experience made him realize it could be like in assisted living.

“If they are out of the closet, they the risk of bringing hell on themselves they can’t get out of."

Read the original article online here.

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