Can Someone Under 55 Live in a 55-Plus Florida Community

Do You Have to Be 55 to Buy in an Age-Restricted 55 Community in Central Florida?

Youngish older adult woman in luxury kitchen using a spatula to remove freshly baked cookies from a baking sheet as an older adult man looks onIn some cases, you may be younger than 55 and still qualify to buy a home in a community that’s designated for active adults 55 and older. Age-restricted communities are federally regulated under the Fair Housing Act, which generally prohibits discrimination based on factors such as race, sex, disability, and age but provides exemptions pertaining to housing for older adults. These restrictions apply to 55-plus communities in Central Florida and other parts of the U.S. To understand how age-restricted retirement communities came to be, it helps to go back in time to see how they got started.

Concern for an Enjoyable Retirement Lifestyle

The origins of the 55+ community began in the 1960s, as American lifespans were increasing. Housing experts expressed concern about the booming population that could potentially spend decades in retirement. What would all those retirees do with their hard-earned free time? How could they be encouraged to stay physically active and socially engaged in the world around them? As a result, developers in many parts of the country, including Central Florida, began designing retirement communities that focused on the needs of older adults. Federal regulations followed the trend in 1989 by allowing for senior housing.

In 1995, the Housing for Older Persons Act fine-tuned the rules so that 55+ communities needed only 80% of the dwellings to be occupied by someone 55 or older. This provides some flexibility for younger adults to enjoy the perks of living in a 55+ community—perks that often include easy access to resort-style amenities and activities designed to appeal to older adults. Additionally, a family member who is younger than 55 may buy and live in a unit with someone who meets the age requirement. Moreover, a homebuyer who wishes to purchase a home in a 55+ community for a parent who meets the age guidelines can do so.

It’s important to remember that developers of 55+ communities can set minimum age limits for residency, including for the 20% of homes that don’t have to meet the federal restrictions. For example, Blair Group, which operates five 55+ communities in highly desirable locations throughout Central Florida, prohibits anyone younger than 18 from becoming a permanent resident in any of its retirement communities.

Contact Blair Group today if you’re interested in buying a home and enjoying an enviable—yet affordable—lifestyle in one of our Central Florida retirement communities.