What is the 80/20 Rule in 55+ Communities?

80/20 Rule in 55+ Communities

The 80/20 rule in 55+ communities is that at least 80% of units must be occupied by at least one person 55 or older. The remaining 20% of households in the community may be available for persons of any age, if the community so chooses.

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The Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995

You may be wondering how the 80/20 rule is compliant with Federal Fair Housing laws, which explicitly prohibit “denial of housing or real estate transactions based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap of familial status.”

The Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) complies with Federal Fair Housing Laws which do not directly mention age. However, familial status does include protection for children under 18, pregnant women, people in the process of obtaining custody of a child under 18, or persons with written permission of the parent or legal guardian.

How Does a Community Qualify for the 55 and Older Exemption?

Therefore, to be compliant with HOPA and Fair Housing, age-restricted 55+ communities must meet all of the following conditions, per the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:

  • At least 80 percent of the units must have at least one occupant who is 55 years of age or older; and
  • The facility or community must publish and adhere to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent to operate as "55 or older" housing; and
  • The facility or community must comply with HUD's regulatory requirements for age verification of residents.

*Source: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/fair_housing_act_housing_older_persons

If communities do not meet these requirements, they may lose the ability to enforce their age-restrictions. Additionally, HOPA does not protect 55+ communities from liability for housing discrimination outlined by Federal Fair Housing Laws.

55 and Over Community Resources

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances nor a solicitation of legal business. You are urged to consult an experienced lawyer concerning your particular actual situation and any specific legal questions you may have. No attorney-client relationship attaches as a result of any exchange of information.

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