The East Point complex will bring a total of 390 housing units to East Providence, 10% of them affordable
By Wheeler Cowperthwaite
The Providence Journal
EAST PROVIDENCE — Four years ago, when Jodi Glass joined the board of Aldersbridge, a nonprofit that runs health care centers for older adults, she had already been working on an issue close to her heart — care of the aging population of LGBTQ people.
“Elder LGBTQ folks, they don’t have children as they do now in the younger generation, and their support systems are more lateral,” she said.
The idea of a better support system for older members of the queer community started percolating for Glass 15 years ago.
When she joined Aldersbridge, formerly known as United Methodist Elder Care, her project gained momentum and direction as she helped form the policies, trainings and procedures to deter discrimination in assisted living and nursing homes, both from residents and staff.
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Glass and Aldersbridge CEO Rick Gamache had a bigger, bolder plan in mind: build an income- and age-restricted apartment complex to serve aging members of the LGBTQ community.
With a little luck, a little help from the City of East Providence and the right timing, Glass’s vision is set to become a reality as Aldersbridge and the nonprofit housing developer One Neighborhood Developers are trying to build a 39-unit apartment building as part of the sprawling, 390-unit East Point housing project in East Providence, on the east bank of the Seekonk River. The apartment building will consist of studios, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments on the 27-acre property.
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One Neighborhood Builders Executive Director Jennifer Hawkins said the project is laudable for its LGBTQ-inclusivity, but that East Providence also deserves credit for demanding affordable housing as part of the complex, a type of inclusionary zoning.
“That really triggered this opportunity,” Hawkins said.