Are You A Victim Of Age Discrimination in Housing?

Authored By: Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc.

Information about age discrimination and housing rights for seniors. 


What is housing discrimination?

Some housing providers may not want you as a resident if you have difficulties doing your daily activities or if you are frail:

  • If you are renting, the landlord might ask you to leave or refuse to renew your lease.
  • If you want to move into an apartment or condominium, the building management might ask you for your medical records, refuse to rent or sell to you, or try to steer you to an assisted living center.

Even some operators of housing for seniors discriminate against those with disabilities. For example, a retirement community may seek to keep out people who need assistance in the activities of daily living. They may say they are “helping” seniors or acting in their best interests, but in fact they are breaking the law. If this happens, the housing provider may be breaking the law by discriminating against you.

There are 2,200,000 residents in our service area and 26% of them are 65 or older. Looking for housing options for an aging parent, relative, friend, or for yourself can be a very difficult task.

Many older persons living in governmentsubsidized housing in Florida are female, over the age of seventy-five (75), living alone, often are African American or Hispanic and in many cases poor.

One problem is the need for the elderly to have humane housing. Another, more serious problem, is the high cost of housing for seniors who are living on fixed incomes or limited assets.

After careful research, you need to determine what type of housing you can afford, what kind of assistance or living arrangements you need, and what items, if any, your health insurance might cover. The elderly deserve to live with dignity and independence without compromising their safety. 

What is The Fair Housing Initiative Project?

The Fair Housing Initiative Project can help seniors of central Florida face their housing challenges. Contact us to learn more about:

  • Your rights to fair housing.
  • Information concerning government assisted housing as well as assisted living residences.
  • Enhancing your understanding of a reverse mortgage.
  • Learning more about home modification and repair to promote independence and to prevent accidents.
  • Fighting predatory mortgage lending practices against the elderly. 

What is Housing for Older Persons?

  • Housing provided under any State or Federal program that is designed and operated to assist elderly persons
  • Housing intended for, and solely occupied by, persons 62 years of age or older 
  • Housing intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older

When is housing for older persons is exempt from familial status discrimination under the Fair Housing Act?

Under the Fair Housing Act, housing for older persons is exempt from familial status discrimination if:

  • 80% of the occupied units house a least one person who is 55 years of age or older;
  • The community publishes and adheres to policies and procedures specifically intended for older persons; and
  • The community complies with rules for verification of occupancy.

What to do if you experience housing discrimination?

  • Keep a written record of all attempted and actual contacts and conversations with the manager, landlord, owner, real estate agent, loan officer, mortgage officer, insurance agent, and others involved.
  • Keep all documents, including leases, receipts, applications, letters of denial, and other materials related to the discrimination. 

Updated: April 18, 2017 

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