The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for Condominium Associations to discriminate against anyone based on their familial status. This prohibition could be an issue for COAs that want to restrict residency to only persons who are 55 or older.
However, the Housing for Older Persons Act amended the Fair Housing Act to make these communities legal when they meet the requirements of the Act.
HOPA exemptions for older residents
COAs may legally refuse to sell or rent to families with minor children if they meet one of three requirements:
- A state or federal program provides housing specifically for the assistance of elderly people.
- The community operates housing for residents who are 55 years old or older.
- All of the people who live in the housing are 62 years old or older.
How to qualify for the HOPA exemptions
COAs that want to qualify for the 55 and older housing exemption must meet three requirements. A person who is at least 55 years old must occupy at least 80% of the units in your community. Your community must comply with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s regulations for the age verification of residents. Your community must have published procedures and policies verifying your intent to operate as housing for people 55 or older.
The HOPA act allows condominium associations to operate housing communities restricted to people who are age 55 or older without violating the Fair Housing Act. However, it is important to comply with the Act’s requirements.