HUD Relaxes Rules to Allow Senior Communities to Admit Hurricane Sandy Evacuees
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is giving more flexibility to 55-and-over communities who wish to help families who have been affected by the hurricane. HUD recently issued guidance that allows communities who have designated themselves “housing for older persons” the flexibility to open up vacant units to evacuees of Hurricane Sandy under the age of 55, without jeopardizing the community's qualification for certain legal exemptions under the Fair Housing Act.
Under HUD's new guidance, a private provider of housing for older persons anywhere in the country may make units available to evacuees under the age of 55 and continue to qualify for the Fair Housing Act's familial status exemption, as long as the vacant units are made available to evacuees without restriction on the basis of familial status. The letter included a question-and-answer portion that guides communities in exercising this flexibility. The full letter with the attached question and answer section can be found at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=sandyguidance.pdf.