If your community claims to be “housing for older persons” under federal and state law, then effective July 1, 2020, the Florida Legislature has eliminated from Florida’s “Fair Housing Act” (§760.29(2)), the requirement for your community to register with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. In addition, community associations that qualify as “housing for older persons” under federal and state law no longer need to submit every two years a letter to the Commission stating the community complies with the requirements to be considered “housing for older persons” under federal and state law.
The change eliminates the administrative burden on community associations to initially register with the state and biennially file a certification of compliance with the requirements to be exempt from Florida’s Fair Housing Act because the failure to do so had no impact on a communities qualification as “housing for older persons.”
Importantly, 55+ communities that claim to be “housing for older persons” exempt from certain provisions of fair housing laws must continue to publish and adhere to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent to be such housing. 55+ communities must still comply with the federal regulations made by the Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for verification of occupancy, which rules provide for verification by reliable surveys and affidavits and include examples of the types of policies and procedures relevant to a determination of compliance.
Community associations that wish to confirm they are taking the appropriate steps to maintain their “housing for older persons” exempt status should immediately contact their legal counsel.
by Steven R. Braten, Shareholder, Rosenbaum PLLC