This Is our Village

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Over 55 Community Status

We are asked to report resident ages each year to make sure we retain our prized over 55 status, but what are the hard benefits of this, are some taxes less (or double). Who knows the Code? I understand spin, adult-oriented senior living and less rug rat ambience but what exactly else ..?


  1. Hi Elaine,
    There is no reporting required, but the asssociation with a 55+ status
    must update their records to reflect that at least 80% of the occupied units have at least one person fifty-five years of age and older. I believe that in addition to being protected from discrimination lawsuits based upon familiar status, there are no taxes levied for Florida's education system.
    For an up-to-date and comprehensive understanding the Federal guidelines relating to 55 years and older communities, look to the sidebar entitled "Condominium Study and Reference Guides" and click on "HOPA - Housing for Older Person's Act - Rule Implementation". An excerpt is as follows:
    For Florida Statutes relating to this subject see Section 760.29(4)(b).
    Also, see next comment.

  2. There continues to be confusion concerning what is often referred to as the 80/20 split. HOPA states that the minimum standard to obtain housing for persons who are 55 years of age or older status is that ‘‘at least 80%’’ of the occupied units be occupied by persons 55 years or older. There is no requirement that the remaining 20% of the occupied units be occupied by persons under the age of 55, nor is there a requirement that those units be used only for persons where at least one member of the household is 55 years of age or older. Communities may decline to permit any persons under the age of 55, may require that 100% of the units have at least one occupant who is 55 years of age or older, may permit up to 20% of the occupied units to be occupied by persons who are younger than 55 years of age, or set whatever requirements they wish, as long as ‘‘at least 80%’’ of the occupied units are occupied by one person 55 years of age or older, and so long as such requirements are not inconsistent with the overall intent to be housing for older persons.

    The final regulation retains the provision that a unit occupied by a person or persons as a reasonable accommodation to the disability of an occupant need not be counted in meeting the 80% requirements. This provision ensures that a community or
    facility seeking to authorize the reasonable accommodation for a
    resident who, because of a disability, requires an attendant, including family members under the age of 18, residing in a unit in order for that person to benefit from the housing will not have its exemption adversely affected by permitting the accommodation. The authority for this provision arises under the Act’s requirement that reasonable accommodations be provided to persons with disabilities.
    Although occupancy by a person under the age of 55 who inherits a unit or a surviving spouse who is younger than 55 years of age are the original examples cited by Congress in justifying the original 80/20 split, HUD does not consider these to be the only appropriate uses of the flexibility provided by the up to 20% allowed by the exemption, nor are protections for those groups required. HUD believes that the appropriate use of the 20%, if any, is at the discretion of the community or facility and does not intend to impose more specific requirements in this area.
    For example, a community could allow some percentage of its units, up to 20%, to be made available to persons over the age of 50, and, as long as the overall intent to be senior housing remained clear, HUD would not have an objection. However, the remaining portion of units not counted for purposes of meeting the 80% requirement may not be segregated within a community or facility. Some commentators offered opinions concerning the proper nomenclature for senior communities and the consequences of using the ‘‘wrong’’
    term. HUD believes that the best practice is to refer to such housing as ‘‘Senior Housing’’ or ‘‘A 55 and older community’’ or ‘‘retirement
    community,’’ and discourages the use of the terms ‘‘adult housing’’ or similar language. While use of adult housing or similar phrases, standing alone, do not destroy the intent requirement of HOPA,
    they send a clear message which is inconsistent with the intent to be
    housing for older persons. If a community or facility has clearly shown its intent in other ways, and meets the 80% requirement, then the intent requirement has been met even if the phrase ‘‘adult’’ or similar terminology is occasionally used. However, a community which describes itself as ‘‘adult’’ leaves itself vulnerable to complaints about its eligibility for the exemption, which could result in an investigation or litigation to determine whether the community in fact qualifies for the exemption.

  3. Elaine: And this is the SHORT version from Randall too.

  4. Hi Picruise,
    In the future, I shall simply offer relevant cites from which one may extrude the answers they seek.

  5. Hi Randall,
    Regarding school taxes. For School local I paid #32.47 and school state,73.53. I am not homesteaded. Am I being bilked?????

  6. Randall do not be discouraged, what I was interested in was benefits, not regulations. You wrote - “I believe that ..., there are no taxes levied for Florida's education system.” That is what I was trying to figure out.
    The word 'tax' does not appear in HOPA . We are paying education taxes. Property taxes have the same millage rate for state and local schools, inside and outside the over-55 communities. The Exemption does not seem to be a financial exemption.
    I tried to call HUD, they have operators who specialize in losing your call, there may be not an actual HUD, just a loop of menus.

  7. I just phone the number on the tax form beside school taxes and was informed that we are NOT exempted from paying school tax.

  8. Hi all,
    Please look at FS-760, the principle benefit as I see it is we get around a key issue in the Fair Housing Act as regards age discrimination; this is accomplished by way of becoming and remaining Housing for Older Persons.

    Read that part very carefully, as there is a rather incredible goat rope to be navigated.

    That's why you have a defense against being overun by youngsters.

    Dave Israel

  9. Thanks y'all. We should be glad of Homestead and low assessments to save a few $$. I also thought I had heard of a break on school taxes years ago, but not true.

  10. This Blog is great!!!!!!!
    Thanks Randall,Elaine and all for the info. Where would most of us ever get this kind of Info for free??? A special thanks to Dave Israel for starting and tending this God Send, along with the other Blog Administrators.


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