Living in a community surrounded by others in a similar phase of life sounds dreamy, but is it possible? If you have heard of age restricted communities you may question whether it is a legal practice to have an age requirement for residency. Learning the details on age restriction will help you determine if you qualify for residency at the community you are considering.
Is it legal for senior living communities to restrict residents based on age?
If you have bought a house or rented an apartment in the past then you have likely read over some information about the Fair Housing Act (FHA) which prohibits housing discrimination based on a number of factors including age. So, how can senior living communities establish a minimum age requirement without violating the FHA? The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created an exemption that senior living communities can apply for called the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA). The HOPA exemption allows senior living communities to establish a minimum age requirement for residents without violating the FHA. Since senior living facilities are required to meet certain specifications to qualify for this exemption you can educate yourself on what to expect from these types of communities. Learn more about the requirements for a HOPA exemption here.
What are the age requirements in senior living communities?
The specific age requirements for senior living communities can vary from place to place. But there are two minimum age requirements that are standard across the majority of communities: 55 and older or 62 and older. Both types have to meet certain requirements under the HOPA exemption in order to offer residency specifically to seniors. Communities that are 55 and older are required to have a minimum of 80 percent of the units with at least one occupant who is 55 years of age or older. Communities that are for residents 62 and older can only be occupied by people at or above that age. These specifications can impact whether or not you qualify to move into a senior living facility. For example, if you have a spouse who does not meet the age requirements or a child still living at home you may not be able to qualify. Check with the community you are considering to determine if you meet the requirements to move in.
Moving into a senior living community has the ability to enhance your retirement experience. You can try new things and meet new people while living in a place designed for your needs. The options for senior living communities have never been better. Start looking today for your new home!