France’s FIRST gay active living village for over 50s gets the green light
The gay community are the newest group to fuel the booming retirement housing market, which already offers developments catering to art enthusiasts, musicians, military veterans and university alumni.
According to research by Stonewall, the UK lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, there are currently between 871,045 and 1,219,470 gay and lesbian adults aged over 55 in the UK, roughly the population of Birmingham.
But it´s more than a matter of numbers. Gay baby boomers are the first generation to come of age after the gay rights movements in the 1970s and with the gay marriage law recently passed in both England, Wales and across the channel in neighbouring France, many in the LGBT community have felt more open about their sexual orientation than previous generations.
Indeed, over the last decade, as attitudes have relaxed and more people live openly gay, there has been a wave of housing projects popping up across the globe to serve the “gay and gray” population but the idea of building such communities in Europe hadn´t progressed much beyond talk until now.
The Villages Group – Rainbow, a 7 hectare gated community of affordable one level eco-friendly/energy efficient “village-houses” with concierge services nestled in the heart of the Languedoc region of South West France, has been given the green light and will be the first active living community for over 50s from the lesbian and gay community.
Danny Silver,Founding Partner of The Villages Group, which specialises in properties for those seeking retirement homes with an active lifestyle, comments,
“Our rural French haven, The Villages Group – Rainbow, offers LGTB individuals over 50 years old, the opportunity to live an active life together with like-minded people in France for the first time. It is due to demand from this growing community that we have launched this new Village; indeed other European developers have explored the new potential niche market however one proposal after another has died on the vine. But I am delighted to say that here at The Villages Group – Rainbow we have the green light to commence construction and the properties will be ready for occupation by early 2015.”
Silver continues, “The great weather, French gastronomy and picturesque location provide perfect reasons to spend your latter years here across the Channel, coupled with increasing tolerance towards the gay community and the legalisation of gay marriage, The Villages Group – Rainbow offers the perfect opportunity to live out your days with pride.”
Attitudes are changing fast in France and it was in fact only earlier this year in May that gay marriage was legalised with the first gay couple marrying in June near the town of Montpellier, the capital of Languedoc-Roussillon and also known as the “French San Francisco” for its gay-friendly outlook.