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Senior Housing: What you should know...

As a housing provider:

The Fair Housing Act (FHAct) protects all residents from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap or familial status (families with children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal guardians; pregnant women and people trying to get custody of children under 18).


Senior Housing Exemption

Although the FHAct was amended in 1988 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and familial status, Congress intended to preserve housing specifically designed to meet the needs of senior residents. Housing that meets the FHAct definition of housing for older persons is exempt from the law's familial status requirements, provided that:

  • HUD has determined that the dwelling is specifically designed for and occupied by elderly persons under a Federal, State or local government program or
  • It is occupied solely by persons who are 62 or older or
  • It houses at least one person who is 55 or older in at least 80 percent of the occupied units, and adheres to a policy that demonstrates intent to house persons who are 55 or older.

Therefore, housing that satisfies the legal definition of senior housing or housing for older persons described above, can legally exclude families with children.


The Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 (HOPA) OMB Approval Number: 2529-0046 (Expiration Date 6/30/2006)

 

HOPA got rid of initial requirements for significant services and facilities within designated senior housing units or areas.

 

 - HOPA QAs