While “senior housing” may seem like a general term for any type of living arrangements geared toward senior citizens, the reality is that “senior housing” actually has a firm legal definition. If you are an older adult or have an elderly loved one who may be ready for senior housing in MA, it’s important to understand the legal definition of senior housing and how to qualify for it.
What Is Senior Housing?
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) of the United States prevents any type of discrimination based on familial status for renting or purchasing homes in the country. Senior housing is essentially an exception to this ban because it caters to a specific age group in a certain way, covered by the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) coded into the FHA. Under the HOPA, the criteria for qualifying for senior housing include:
- Age 62 or older. If all occupants of a living space are 62 or older, the living space qualifies as senior housing.
- Age 55 or older. If a community of living spaces has at least one resident age 55 or older in more than 80% of the living space units in the community, the community qualifies as a senior housing community.
- Government program coverage. Any living spaces specifically designed for senior occupants under a local, state, or federal government program qualifies as senior housing.
While the FHA prevents property owners from discriminating on the basis of familial status, an owner of any property that qualifies as senior housing would not have the same restriction. This would effectively allow the property owner to discriminate against other prospective tenants such as families with small children.
For example, an apartment complex owner cannot refuse to rent to a family with kids simply because the owner does not like kids. However, if an individual owns a property that qualifies as senior housing, the owner could refuse to rent to a family with kids under HOPA without facing legal penalties for discrimination.
The HOPA exists to ensure seniors have access to safe and comfortable living spaces, and a local senior living advisor can help a family locate the best senior housing in MA for their elderly loved ones.
Working with Senior Care Advisors
Finding the right senior support services for your elderly loved one can be an extremely challenging task. There is an incredible amount of variety when it comes to the senior living facilities and services available, which makes determining the best options for your family’s needs and budget incredibly difficult without help.
Elder Living Advisors specializes in helping families locate the best senior support services and senior housing in MA for their individual situations. We understand that every family and every older adult has unique medical considerations, financial restrictions, and other responsibilities that can make finding senior care difficult.
When you work with a local senior living advisor from Elder Living Advisors, you will have access to the vast network of professional contacts we’ve cultivated over our years of senior service throughout South Shore and Southeastern MA. We can help you coordinate senior care for your elderly loved one at no cost to you. If you are interested in senior housing in MA, contact Elder Living Advisors online or call us at (781) 999-3994 for more information and to get a FREE consultation.