What is a 55+ Active Adult Community?

Last Updated on July 25, 2021 by Palm Gardens

Believe it or not it is an actual designation allowed by the government. We have such a community at Palm Gardens in our mobile home park. The age-restricted part of our community are Arizona manufactured homes.

Active adult communities are age qualified 55+ master planned areas that provide a lifestyle that’s attractive to adults 55 years of age and older.

Can Someone Younger Than 55 Reside in it?

Yes, people who are younger than 55 years of age can live in these 55+ communities. However, it will also depend on the community’s guidelines and specific circumstances. The guidelines may vary in different communities. Still, exceptions are allowed, especially in two common cases. 

First of all, the spouse of the 55-year-old can live in an adult community even if she isn’t able to meet the age requirements. Secondly, an adult child over 18 years of age can live with a 55-year-old relative. It’s because in both cases one of the members of the house is older than 55 years.

Now, you might know that the Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination. However the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) is an exception. It allows communities to operate age 55 or older housing. To qualify for this, the following criteria must be met:

  • At least 80% of the units must be occupied by at least one resident over the age of 55
  • The community must publish and comply with policies and procedures that show an intent by the provider to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older
  • From time to time, the housing provider must comply with age verification procedures that may include a community census or other means of verification.

Most age-restricted communities allow individuals under the age minimum to stay temporarily including grandchildren.

Most 55 and older communities (like Palm Gardens) have activities geared toward the active adult lifestyle. This could include golf, bingo, parties, a library, etc.