How Old Do You Have to Be for Senior Housing?

Posted by in Expert Advice.

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At Senior Lifestyle, our goal is to act as a resource for those learning more about senior housing, particularly concerning areas of the industry less familiar to our residents and their families. Today we’re taking a closer look at one aspect of a topic we often hear questions about from families and residents: legal age requirements for senior housing.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA), the 1995 legislation that governs senior housing and 55-and-over communities, addresses key aspects of the rules surrounding senior housing economics. Outside of HUD senior housing rules, there are a lot of additional questions about age requirements for senior housing, but determining the economics of living in a Senior Lifestyle 55-and-over community doesn’t have to be one of them.

HOPA was designed to provide affordable housing and safe living arrangements for qualified senior citizens. It is technically an age exception to the Fair Housing Act, which protects people from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap or familial status.

When it comes to the communities themselves, HOPA has three primary provisions. The first provides for places that provide general assistance to elderly persons. The other two deal with specifics about age. The first age-specific rule is simple: A community must be solely inhabited by persons 62 years of age or older. The other regulates 55-and-over communities and is a little more complicated.

In order for 55-and-over communities to qualify for HUD senior housing support, they must satisfy three additional requirements. First, at least 80 percent of the units must have one occupant who is older than 55. Second, the community must publish policies and demonstrate its intention to be a 55-and-over community. Finally, the community must verify the ages of its residents to remain eligible.

All of this is handled by Senior Lifestyle communities, so you can focus on making the best living decision for you or your loved one. While each of Senior Lifestyle’s lively 170-plus communities are operated independently of one another, all are bound by HUD senior housing rules. The majority of Senior Lifestyle communities are limited to 62-year-olds, but you can check for senior housing in your area for specific details.

If you think becoming a Senior Lifestyle resident is right for you or your loved one, we also encourage you to check out our Senior Lifestyle’s Senior Suites program. Nationally recognized as a leading prototype for affordable senior housing, Senior Suites distinguishes itself from traditional affordable housing options by offering daily residential programming, weekly transportation services, diverse dining options and daily check-in programs.

To learn more about our vibrant senior housing options, check out our elder care services. You can also check out our financial planning calculator to see which senior caring options are right for you. Whatever you’re considering, you can be sure that Senior Lifestyle is here to help and happy to assist you and your family.

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