Home Buying in 92234>Question Details

Maryam Pineda, Home Buyer in Cathedral City, CA

Are the 55 communities age-restricted? Will I be qualified to purchase a home even if I am less than 55?

Asked by Maryam Pineda, Cathedral City, CA Tue Mar 29, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


55 & Over Housing: What is the 80/20 Rule?

55 & Older Housing - what does that mean?
The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. Many States have their own Fair Housing Act - in Florida Chapter 760 of the Florida Statutes is dedicated to discrimination issues that expand the protection to age and marital status. The term 'familial status' generally refers to occupancy by children (person under 18) with parent, guardian or designee of the parent. So why or how are there 55 & older communities? Well, every rule has exceptions, right? The Fair Housing Act is no different.
The Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) is an exception that allows communities to operate as “55 or over” housing. To qualify for this exemption, the following criteria must be met:
At least 80% of the units must be occupied by at least one resident over the age of 55;
The community must publish and adhere to policies and procedures demonstrating an intent by the housing provider (the association) to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older; and
The housing provider must engage in appropriate age verification procedures that includes a community census from time to time.
Ok - at least one person 55 or older must reside in at least 80% of the occupied units. What do you do with the other 20%?
On April 1, 1999 the United States Department of House and Urban Development (“HUD “) published Federal Regulations implementing the Housing For Older Persons Act of 1995 (“HOPA”). Basically, HUD does not care how a community handles the 20% “cushion" as reflected below:

There continues to be confusion concerning what is often referred to as the 80/20 split. HOPA states that the minimum standard to obtain housing for persons who are 55 years of age or older status is that “at least 80%” of the occupied units be occupied by persons 55 years or older. There is no requirement that the remaining 20% of the occupied units be occupied by persons under the age of 55, nor is there a requirement that those units be used only for persons where at least one member of the household is 55 years of age or older. Communities may decline to permit any persons under the age of 55, may require that 100% of the units have at least one occupant who is 55 years of age or older, may permit up to 20% of the occupied units to be occupied by persons who are younger than 55 years of age, or set whatever requirements they wish, as long as “at least 80%” of the occupied units are occupied by one person 55 years of age or older, and so long as such requirements are not inconsistent with the overall intent to be housing for older persons.

Does that mean a community that desires to sustain is Housing for Older Persons status should let everyone in up to the 20%? No, not really. The "cushion" is designed to allow the housing provider (association) to permit exceptions when appropriate. If a couple resides in a property and one is 55 and the other not, do you, as a community leader or manager, want to be put in a position that requires you to say "you're in violation" if the resident over 55 passes away? What if the couple gets divorced? What if someone resides with their adult child? In our view, the 'cushion' is exactly that - something that protects you or softens the requirements to avoid unpleasant results.

We have been dealing with all facits of the Manufactured Housing Industry in the Palm Desert/Springs ares for almost three decades. If you're interested in the purchase of a Manufactured Home in a senior community please fee free to contact us.

John DL Arendsen
Real Estate Broker
Manufactured Home Dealer & Developer
Manufactured Home Contractor
General Contractor
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 30, 2011
Maybe this will give you some factual insight. I'll try to dig up some more info for you. Is this a Manufactured Home Community, Condo, Townhome?

"To qualify for the "55 and older" federal exemption, communities must meet the requirements established in the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 (HOPA). Specifically, at least 80% of the units or homes must be occupied by at least one occupant who is age 55 or older and the community must be able to demonstrate, through written policies, lease provisions, advertising, etc. that the community is designed exclusively for older residents."
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 30, 2011
I am thinking you must be close to 55 or you would not be asking....

Actually, each community can have slightly different rules. Some allow for a small percentage of residents under the age of 55. This is due to a lawsuit that was filed against a 55+ community when one of the residents qualifying partner died and the other resident was left in the community at age 45. The other residents in the community tried to get the younger woman out and she sued and won the case and therefore a presidence was set that changed the rules to sometimes allow a 45 year old resident.

The rules regarding residence at age-restricted communities can vary greatly from one community to the next. Many active adult communities only allow residents who are over the age of 55. However, the rules are set at location. Some communities may set the minimum age at 50, or even 45.

A community’s rules may also stipulate that only one resident meet the age requirement. There may be a different minimum for additional residents. For example, a married couple whose ages are 55 and 45, may still meet the requirements to live in a community that is restricted to those 55 and older, if the rules state that only one resident be over the age of 55.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 29, 2011
I am thinking of moving with my husband to 55 plus mobile home park in Florida. I am 60 and my husband is 65. We have an adult son who is 30 but is disabled. Can he live with us in a mobile home park in Florida?
Flag Wed Mar 12, 2014
I live in California, I am 69 and the other person living with me is 76. We bought the house we live in (a senior community) together and the deed was in both our names. We paid cash for the house. We have lived in the house 9 years. Three years ago she quit claimed her part of the house to me for personal reasons.. Recently the HOA told us she could not live there . We sent the deed transactions as well as a letter stating our living trust wills state that should one of us dies the other can live there as long as they want.. Is this legal and am I not allowed on have someone live with me as long as they meet the age requirement 55+?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2015
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 23, 2015
I am 60 and my husband is 65. We have an adult mentally slow son age 30. Can he move into a 55 plus adult community in florida with us?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 21, 2014
Im sorry over 18.
Flag Fri Oct 10, 2014
Anyone over the age of 21 can live you. There are no exceptions to this Federal rule. At least one resident must be 55 plus.

You don't have to be 55 to even buy in 55 plus.
Flag Fri Oct 10, 2014
It depends on the park Some have it over 18 others only one needs to be 55+ others make expections like your situation. you should be looking at your guidelines.
Flag Mon Apr 28, 2014
Some will allow under 55 due to the 20 percent rule. My brother and his girlfriend are 42 and live in one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 13, 2014
In CA you can BUY (own) any home at age 18 or over. Living in it is a different story than who is on title, though.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 9, 2013
Most 55+ communities require only residents to fit the age criteria. Owning the property and renting it out to age appropriate folks should be fine. Check with the HOA and your lender.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 2, 2013
can a disable child live with parent in a 55 plus community
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 22, 2013
NOand you can't park in a handicapped parking if you are not handicapped.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 29, 2013
Most will allow one person 55+ with the 2nd person, if any, under age of 55.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 28, 2013
i purchased a home in a 55 and older and my husband an i an't 55 i signed a lease for 5 years thinking it was for a year. my question is sense we are not 55 is the lease still valid?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 27, 2013
i am interested
Flag Mon Mar 23, 2015
Does a park owner have to display a sign stating that this property is a 55+ community?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 20, 2013
Despite the cushions described below, it is likely that the HOA or management company will deny your application for residency in the 55 or better community for which you are applying. Age is easily verifiable and I am sure the community's application has a box for date of birth right at the top of the page. You may have to wait to play Bocchi Ball... :) Good Luck, James M. udall 760.250.1986
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
I think John's answer is the most complete answer you are going to find. I know that my parents live in CC at a 55+ community and they did have to get accepted by the Management company of the community before being able to complete their purchase. So chances are the management company is going to want proof that at least one resident is 55 or over.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 30, 2011
Yes they are age restricted. Thus the name 55+ community. Qualifying for a purchase has nothing to do with it that is between you and the lender. The HOA and CC&Rs will step in if you are not 55, please talk with a local agent or Realtor so that they can properly educate you on this. Some buyers think the HOA rules and regulations will not apply to them, even opting to go to court over it. They will lose and it will save you a lot of money to find other housing.

Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 29, 2011
Hello Maryam, most of the 55+ communities require the buyer to be 55+. I've helped couples buy in a 55+ where the husband was 55+, but the wife was younger. This was okay because at least one of the buyers was 55+. I would check with the specific community you're interested in.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.ajsocal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 29, 2011
My brother, age 54, was a caregiver to my father, who just passed away in a 55+ mobile home park. The park has given him 2 weeks to get out even though the space rent is paid for the month. Does he have the right to live there longer?
Flag Sat Jan 11, 2014
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