Age-restricted community

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An age-restricted community is a housing area, often gated, that typically limits 80% of the ownership to individuals who are over a set age. Often the minimum age for one of the owners is 50 years, but it could be 55 or even 60.

In addition to restrictions on ownership, such communities frequently have age requirements for residency as well. These communities are set up to accommodate older individuals who would like to live in an area without the perceived problems of having children around.[1] In most cases a younger spouse or significant other is permitted to live in the community as long as one member meets the minimum age requirement.[2]

Age-qualified communities, also known as 55+ communities, lifestyle communities or retirement communities, are often planned communities that offer homes and community features that are attractive to 55+ adults. These might include a clubhouse or lifestyle center with a good many activities, sometimes with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, exercise facilities, craft rooms, demonstration kitchens, Wall St. rooms, decks and patios for gathering.[3]

A noteworthy Canadian example, Arbutus Ridge Seaside Community for Active Adults in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island was the first comprehensive retirement community built in Canada. It is a private community that subsequently became the template and proving ground for what has become accepted and commonplace.

While in the United States discrimination in housing is generally prohibited, the Fair Housing Act of 1968[4] and the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 (109 STAT. 787)[5] allow communities to restrict ownership to older individuals.

Criticism of age-restricted communities[edit]

A common problem occurs when the homeowner dies; if the surviving resident of the home does not meet the requirements for ownership, she or he is forced to sell the home. This can happen even if the survivor is the spouse of the deceased. However, many age restricted communities have circumvented this issue by allowing the survivor to maintain residency as noted in the deed restrictions.

Another common problem comes up when a change in the family situation means a grandparent becomes responsible for a grandchild. Often grandchildren are prohibited from living more than a short time, often 90 days, in an age-restricted community.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Second Home Buying: Glossary of Terms". October 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  2. ^ "Age Restricted Communities". Topretirements. July 2008. Archived from the original on 7 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  3. ^ "55 Community Guide". Active Adult Communities - What and Why?. July 2008. Archived from the original on 28 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  4. ^ Fair Housing--it's Your Right (U.S. HUD website)
  5. ^

External links[edit]