If discrimination is illegal why are there 55+ communities?

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If discrimination is illegal why are there 55+ communities?

Sorry but you are incorrect.

Housing for Older Persons is a specific exemption added to the Fair Housing Act in 1995 in regards to familia status and applies across the country. You will see these communities in every state, though not in the large numbers that you will see in Florida.

Also Housing for Older Persons only requires 80% of residents to be 55 or older. The community if they so choose can allow younger owners and residents as long as they do not overrun that ratio.

For the record, the protected classes are race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, and national origin. You’ll notice age is not a protected class but familiar status is, which is where this 55+ thing comes about.

States can go above and beyond this and modify them a bit. Florida for example has the Miss Murphy exemption meaning that a landlord who wants to rent out a room in the home they live in (as long as it is 4plex or smaller) can choose to limit / discriminate. However you can never discriminate in advertising no matter the reason.

Also real estate professionals are never allowed to discriminate.

Other interesting pieces is other states go further, covering things like military status (past, present, and future), and ancestry which is a bit different from country of origin in that ancestry covers lineage way back into the past.

The Fair Housing Act is probably one of the best equalizers ever implemented in this country, and is still actively policed and enforced. If you feel you’ve been discriminated against in housing, there are folks chomping at the bit to take your complaint, investigate (including sending in test tenants / buyers to catch discrimination in the act) and then pretty hefty fines.

Kyle Sasser

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