- Housing for Older Persons Act
The Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 (HOPA) amends Title VIII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1968(Fair Housing Act). The consolidated Act is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
HOPA amends the Fair Housing Act as follows: [cite web|url=http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/progdesc/title8.cfm|title=Title VIII: Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity|date=2007-09-27]
* eliminates the requirement that qualified housing for persons age 55 or older have "significant facilities and services" designed for the elderly
* provides "good faith reliance" immunity from damages to persons who in
good faithbelieve and rely on a written statement that a property qualifies for the 55 or older exemption, unaware that the property is ineligible for the exemption.
To amend the Fair Housing Act to modify the exemption from certain familial status discrimination prohibitions granted to housing for older persons. << NOTE: Dec. 28, 1995 - [H.R. 660] >>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, << NOTE: Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995. >> SECTION 1. << NOTE: 46 USC 3601 note. >>
This Act may be cited as the ``Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995".
SEC. 2. DEFINITION OF HOUSING FOR OLDER PERSONS.
Section 807(b)(2)(C) of the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3607(b)(2)(C)) is amended to read as follows:
(C) intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older, and--
(i) at least 80 percent of the occupied units are occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older
(ii) the housing facility or community publishes and adheres to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent required under this subparagraph; and
(iii) the housing facility or community complies with rules issued by the Secretary for verification of occupancy, which shall--
(I) provide for verification by reliable surveys and affidavits; and
(II) include examples of the types of policies and procedures relevant to a determination of compliance with the requirement of clause (ii). Such surveys and affidavits shall be admissible in administrative and judicial proceedings for the purposes of such verification.
SEC. 3. GOOD FAITH ATTEMPT AT COMPLIANCE; DEFENSE AGAINST CIVIL MONEY DAMAGES.
Section 807(b) of the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3607(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
(5)(A) A person shall not be held personally liable for monetary damages for a violation of this title if such person reasonably relied, in good faith, on the application of the exemption under this subsection relating to housing for older persons.
(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, a person may only show good faith reliance on the application of the exemption by showing that--
(i) such person has no actual knowledge that the facility or community is not, or will not be, eligible for such exemption; and
(ii) the facility or community has stated formally, in writing, that the facility or community complies with the requirements for such exemption.
Approved December 28, 1995.
This law states that it is legal for communities to market themselves as “55+”or “age-restricted” provided they maintain that 80 percent of the community’s residents are over the age of 55. Assuming, however, the number of people age 55+ in a given community falls below the 80 percent threshold, they could lose their age-restricted status.
Most 55+ age-restricted active adult communities will place an age-minimum on the residents. In most active adult communities, no one under the age of 19 may reside in the community. However, at a community’s discretion, the age-minimum may be higher or lower. Furthermore, most communities stipulate that if anyone under the age of 55 resides in their community, they must live in a household where at least one occupant is 55 or older. Nearly all age-restricted and active adult communities allow people under the age minimum, such as grandchildren, to visit and stay on a limited basis. Most age-restricted communities have covenants that allow people under the age-minimum to reside temporarily in the community for a period of time ranging from two weeks to 90 days per year (varies by community). [cite web|url=http://www.55places.com/blog/articles/housing_for_older_persons_act/|title=55Places.com|date=2008-06-25]
* [http://www.hud.gov/ U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development]
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