Contact Us

Nonprofit Proposes LGBTQ Senior Housing Project In Southeast D.C.

A rendering of the 15-unit continuing care retirement community planned at 401 Anacostia Road SE.

A development planned in Southeast D.C. aims to pioneer a new model of senior housing.

Mary's House for Older Adults Inc. filed plans this month with the Board of Zoning Adjustments to build a continuing care retirement community for seniors aged 60 or older who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer or same-gender-loving.

The 15-unit project is planned to replace a vacant single-family house at 401 Anacostia Road SE in the Fort Dupont neighborhood. The house was the childhood home of Imani Woody, who founded the Mary's House nonprofit in 2010.

Woody has planned the development for at least six years and received Zoning Commission approval in 2017, the Washington Blade reported. But the approval expired before the applicant could file for building permits within the required two-year window. Mary's House has now received funding for the project, it said in the latest application, and it plans to proceed after receiving BZA approval. 

The three-story project would have communal amenities on the first floor including a living room, kitchen, dining room, library and office. It would have one unit on the first floor and 14 units on the second and third floors. Each unit would have a bed, bathroom and small living area, according to the application.  

The nonprofit described the project as "first-of-its-kind," and it hopes it can inspire similar LGBTQ senior housing developments. Mary's House is working with D.C.-based Millennium Design Architects and Holland & Knight on the project. 

"The vision of Mary's House is to create independent, communal housing for older adults that eliminates the intense isolation experienced due to aging, subtle and not-so-subtle discrimination and intolerance based on one's sexual/gender identity or orientation," the nonprofit says on its website. "Mary's House will be a model and set the standard for future housing of its kind."