Developers of a new Melbourne-based GLBT retirement village are calling on the community to voice their opinions on how they would like to be catered for in older age.
A survey is running until the end of April to garner the community’s ideas and thoughts on what they would like to see in a GLBT retirement complex.
Behind the project is lesbian businesswoman Deborah Peppard, who has seen the unfettered market potential for a retirement facility that caters specifically to the GLBT market.
For the last 12 months, she has been working with property developer Ray Werden and local entrepreneur Geoff Manchester on the proposal earmarked for metropolitan Melbourne.
If established, the retirement haven will become the second of its kind in Australia. Property developer Peter Dickson launched his $26 million Linton Estate GLBT country retirement project in Ballan last year.
Peppard said she hopes to set up an agreement where the two retirement villages could do home swaps for the best of country and city living.
-œIt is a personal project, but I’m trying to build  the most appealing, attractive option for our community, she said.
Plans for a GLBT retirement village would include a more diverse outlook on communal activities and rather than the constant focus on  marriage, children and grandchildren.
-œThe injustice of retiring with no commonality with the people you possibly will be surrounded by was horrifying for me and I’ve lived -” since I was 17 -” completely out and I don’t want to have to be [coming out] when I’m 55 or 60 and I don’t think anyone should have to, she said.
The survey asks about the facilities people are looking for in a retirement village and will focus on responses from those aged 45 years and older.
Peppard said survey results will be sent to a steering committee made up of members of Melbourne’s GLBT community and project stakeholders before any further decisions are made on price, location, look and feel.
At this stage the facility will most likely be in Melbourne’s inner suburbs and cater for 100 to 140 people in independent accommodation with assisted living options.
Peppard said costs depend on the value of the land and how the village is formed. At this stage, however, it is probable that it will cost upwards of $300,000.
-œI’m really strongly positioned on [inner Melbourne] because I feel that certainly when I get older I don’t want to be suddenly removed from everything that I know and love in Melbourne.
-œI want to be able to go to the cinema and shops. You don’t die when you hit 60, you just want to have a more relaxed atmosphere where you feel safer and you’ve got people around you who have things to share.
-œI guess that’s my dream to create that type of community.
Building plans are expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

info: The survey is at hrstaffnstuff.com.au/GLBTretirementproject

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