The day I headed out to take the photos, we had a big dust storm come in. So this is missing some of our beautiful blue skies. Sundance is also the name of the all-aged Master Planned community in Buckeye too. For more information on Sundance, check out ArizonaActiveAdult.com
What is the story with some of the 55 plus, Active Adult Communities allowing sales to people who are 45 and others being rigid on the 55+?
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in many things including age, of the lease or sale of residential property. One of the exceptions to this law is housing for “older persons”. In this usage, “Older Persons” refer to a person 55 years of age or older. The law has been added to, refined, altered and amended over the years. I am not a lawyer, but the way I have been updated on this is that in order to be exempt from the Fair Housing Act, a housing facility or community (defined as any dwelling or group of dwelling units governed by a common set of rules, regulations or restrictions) must have 80% of the occupied units occupied by at least one occupant who is 55 years of age or older. The facility must “publish and follow policies which support this exemption”. At one time the facility had to have “ significant facilities and services specifically designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons.’’ That regulation has been changed and the facilities and services are no longer required.
This 80% also includes occupants who are present only part time (snowbirds) and rentals, it is not restricted to principal residences. The 20% remaining may be occupied by persons under 55. It is required that every 2 years the facility report to the government with accurate numbers, supported by a variety of identification methods, that they have met the 80% rule. This count is carefully monitored by the communities. To lose this exemption is major. The law governing the remaining 20% is not always clear and seems to be further regulated by the individual community rules. The law includes exemptions for heirs and caregivers and persons who maintain the community to be under 55. It is to fill this 20% that you see the 40+ and 45+ advertisements. Only a carefully monitored number under 55 can permitted to own or lease. The lower ages are most often seen in new construction where the percentage can be overseen more timely. Brand new construction must have at least 25% of the units occupied before the law kicks in so they have a bit of leeway to get their communities started.