LGBT assisted-living facilities have been cropping up in cities around the world, but Berlin is host to what might be the world’s first multi-generational queer housing project.
Located in the western neighborhood of Charlottenburg, the 25-room Lebensort Vielfalt (Diverse Living Space) is open to all ages, but 60% of residences have been set aside for those over 55. “What all our residents have in common is that they wanted to live together with other gays and lesbians,” said Marco Pulver of Berlin’s gay and lesbian advisory service. “Many of our older residents spent their youth and often a large amount of their adult life in gay-hostile environments. Several even experienced persecution under the Nazis, and all of them have been affected by Germany’s ‘Paragraph 175’,” which banned same-sex contact until it was abolished in 1994.
Private donations and a grant from Deutsche Bank’s Rainbow Gruppe paid for the €6 million ($7.75 million) structure, which also includes a restaurant, gardens, performance spaces, medical facilities, a library and communal “living rooms.”
So far the endeavor has been a success: More than 200 people are on the waiting list for a room.