Re: Fair Housing Act and community desires for "diversity"
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2015 14:19:38 -0700 (PDT)
> On Aug 11, 2015, at 4:54 PM, R Philip Dowds <rpdowds [at]> wrote:
> On the other hand … it is completely legal for a group of seniors to 
> discriminate against people under 55, or families with young children.  Go 
> figure.

From the HUD website:

The Civil Rights Act of 1968 contained a provision exempting "senior" housing 
from the prohibition against familial status discrimination.

> The Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA), signed into law by President 
> Clinton on December 28, 1995, amended the housing for older persons exemption 
> against familial status discrimination. The HOPA modified the statutory 
> definition of housing for older persons as housing intended and operated for 
> occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit. It 
> eliminated the requirement that housing for older persons have significant 
> services and facilities specifically designed for its elderly residents. It 
> required that facilities or communities claiming the exemption establish age 
> verification procedures. It established a good faith reliance defense or 
> exemption against monetary damages for persons who illegally act in good 
> faith to exclude children based on a legitimate belief that the housing 
> facility or community was entitled to the exemption.
> Only in states that have that law. They may have it now but when it started 
> it was only certain states. And the age varies. Some places I think it is 
> higher. Communities also have rules about partners. If one partner is 55 and 
> the other 45, are they eligible. Not always. 

> What must a housing community or facility do to qualify for the 55 or older 
> housing for older persons exemption?
> Answer
> In order to qualify for the exemption, the housing community/facility must 
> satisfy each of the following requirements:
>       • a)  at least 80 percent of the occupied units must be occupied by at 
> least one person 55 years of age or older per unit;
>       • b)  the owner or management of the housing facility/community must 
> publish and adhere to policies and procedures that demonstrate an intent to 
> provide housing for persons 55 years or older; and
>       • c)  the facility/community must comply with rules issued by the 
> Secretary for verification of occupancy through reliable surveys and 
> affidavits. 

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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