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Inside Out London Focuses on Housing for LGBTQ Elders

Inside Out London Focuses on Housing for LGBTQ Elders

Senior Housing

The BBC One show details Jude Watson's effort to create safe, supportive housing for older LGBTQ people.

Tonight's episode of BBC One's Inside Out London, a news program detailing the lives of Londoners, focuses on Jude Watson, a member of London Older Lesbian Cohousing, and her mission to create alternative, safe housing for LGBTQ elders.

"[When you go into residential care] it is assumed you were married, " Watson says in the trailer for the episode. "[It was assumed] that you had children and that you were heterosexual."

Those assumptions make it difficult for LGBTQ elders to feel free to talk about their lives, leading to loneliness and isolation, Watson says. This can make LGBTQ elders feel they are "hidden," she adds.

"Many of us are living on our own, don't have children, and ... actually a lot of older LGBT people end up going into residential care because there's nobody else," Watson says. "We wanted to have something that was very much supportive of each other. That we have the parameters for, and [we] thought cohousing is really good."

People who live in the cohousing development will have their own apartments but will share community spaces to combat the feeling of loneliness. Watson says she hopes residents will not have to rely on the "external health and social services" that elders so often have to.

Right now the group is working with architects but needs to gain support from local authorities and developers. The community's goal is to have 25 flats built in the next five years.

Watch the trailer for tonight's Inside Out London episode below. The episode is available for streaming in the U.K. on BBC One's iPlayer; check your favorite streaming service for availability elsewhere.

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