Senior apartments specify minimum age requirements based on HUD regulations. The housing must be designated by HUD as suitable for elderly occupants. Senior housing often includes features designed specifically for elderly residents.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on a variety of personal factors, including familial status. Approved senior housing is the exception to the Fair Housing Act as a way for seniors to get the type of housing and services that best fits their needs.
Senior housing is designated as either 55 and up or 62 and up. The requirements for 55 and older housing are more lenient. Only one person in the apartment needs to be 55 or older in 80 percent or more of the units. For 62 and up units, all residents must be at least 62, with an exception for a live-in health care provider or aide. Individuals who apply to live in a senior apartment must show proof of age.
Senior apartment communities often keep the needs of elderly people in mind. The community might include one-level living or elevators for multi-floor buildings. The community is often compact to make navigation easier. It may feature garages or close parking and safety features such as seats and bars in the shower.