Senior Communities (55+)
The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on family status, which means that an association's CC&Rs cannot exclude or discriminate against children. However, Congress made an exception for senior communities when it enacted the "Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995" (HOPA). To qualify as a senior community, associations must satisfy all of the following requirements;
- At least 80% of the occupied units must be occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older. Communities can, if they prefer, require that 100% of the units have at least one occupant who is 55 years of age or older;
- Publish and follow policies that demonstrate an intent by the association to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older; and
- Comply with age verification procedures designed to ensure compliance with 55 or older age requirements.
Residential communities that have continuously operated as a senior community can qualify as a 55 or older community by demonstrating that it satisfies the criteria set forth above.
California has made similar accommodations for senior communities in the Unruh Act. To qualify as a senior community, CC&Rs must state that at least one person in the unit must be a senior citizen, either a qualified permanent resident 55 years of age or older or 62 years of age or older depending on the category of the senior community, and that each other resident in the same unit is a "qualified permanent resident".
A "qualified permanent resident" is defined as someone who is residing with the qualifying resident in a senior community who is 45 years of age or older, or was a spouse, or cohabitant providing physical or economic support to the qualifying resident. Underage health care providers also are allowed to live with the senior resident.
In accordance with California Civil Code Section 51 ,3, a person under 55 years of age can reside alone in a senior community upon the death of the senior citizen or dissolution of his or her marriage, or upon the senior citizen 's hospitalization, or other prolonged period of illness.
Once properly established, age restrictions are enforceable through the courts, The laws for senior mobile home parks differ from the law that applies to condominiums.