According to a July 27, 2012, press release from the the Department of Justice, a homeowners association in California and the local municipality of Santa Rosa claimed a property was “senior housing” when in fact, none of the official guidelines required to legally be considered “senior housing” were followed.
La Esplanada Unit 1 Owners’ Association will pay $44,000 in compensatory damages, and both La Esplanada and the City of Santa Rosa will pay $5,000 in civil fines and attend fair housing training.
The official guidelines for senior housing come from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Fair Housing Act. HUD guidelines that need to be followed in order to be an official age-restricted community for persons 55 years of age or older include affirmatively electing to become an age-restricted community. The Fair Housing Act’s requirements include ensuring that at least 80 percent of the occupied units are occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older and ensuring there are proper age verification procedures in place.
For more information, read the entire Department of Justice’s press release “Justice Department Settles Housing Discrimination Lawsuit Related to Senior Housing in Santa Rosa, California“.