Myth: 55+ RV parks must allow people under the age of 55

Truck and camper parked next to park models

I’ve had this discussion a few times now, and with Hurricane Ian hitting the southwestern Florida coast in the fall of 2022, it’s coming to the forefront of discussions regularly. Many RV parks were wiped out and it’s gotten very competitive to get into what’s left. A lot of under 55 folks and families are exploring the idea of using 55+ RV parks under the common misconception that “55+ must allow a certain percentage of under 55.”

Looking at/out of an RV windowOn paper, this sounds great! If they have openings and you’re under 55, they can’t tell you no. Unfortunately, digging into this for the state of Florida, it’s just not accurate.

55+ communities don’t have to allow under 55. Their bylaws are written such that they CAN allow up to 20% under 55 and still retain their special “55+” housing designation. Each community picks the percentage of 55+ as long as it’s at least 80%. They’re free to pick 90% or 100%, even.

Even still, that remaining 0-20% is optional and is to support spouses, caregivers, adult children, etc. who are under 55.

This all comes from the Florida Commission on Human Relations- Housing – 55 & Older Communities web page. They have a document that answers questions concerning the final rule implementing the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 (HOPA). In here, look specifically at questions #14-17 and then again at #24.




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