To the Editor:
Equality Park, built by and for the LGBT community, has as its mission to serve that community. To date, this community has heard a lot of praise of how beneficial the proposed “affordable senior residences” of Equality Park will be.
Director Robert Boo invariably emphasizes the great charitable and humanity of the project. Various news outlets, referenced by Mr. Boo, gave glowing reviews. From these releases, it appears that the agreement would make Carrefour the developer and administrator of the project, arranging much of the financing, and Equality Park would provide services for the residents. That’s about all we know so far.
On closer examination, the numerous “news” items claimed by Mr. Boo appear to be virtually unmodified press releases from Carrefour, a Miami-Dade organization whose original mission is to relieve homelessness in that county - not to serve the LGBT community. Director Robert Boo insists that the project will exclusively provide “affordable housing” for LGBT seniors.
Yet statements from Carrefour are ambiguous, if not evasive, about who would qualify to occupy the units and what constitutes affordability. The public has had no hard data about the financing of the project or the conditions imposed on such financing. (Federal and State loans and grants are never given without clearly defined restrictions). No one has explained how the financing will affect the Pride Center at Equality Park.
Sal Torre’s recent column has brought some of these issues to the light of day. They need to be addressed, not shrugged off as “fake news” and belittling comments. Mr. Boo as Director of Equality Park needs to do a lot more than mere rehashing of the Carrefour press releases.
Our community needs to know a lot more details to truly evaluate the merits of Mr. Boo’s unsubstantiated claims. Let’s begin by making public the proposed contracts and letters of understanding between Equality Park and Carrefour.