DC Area 55 Plus Communities
Age Restricted Communities—General Information
An age-restricted community is a housing area, often gated, that typically limits 80% of the residency to individuals who are over a set age. Often the minimum age for at least one of the residents is 50 years, but it could be 55 or even 60. These communities are set up to accommodate older individuals who would like to live in an area without the perceived problems of having children around. In most cases a younger spouse or significant other is permitted to live in the community as long as one member meets the minimum age requirement. Age-qualified communities, also known as 55+ communities, active adult communities, lifestyle communities or retirement communities, are often planned communities that offer homes and community features that are attractive to 55+ adults. These might include a clubhouse or lifestyle center with a good many activities, sometimes with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, exercise facilities, craft rooms, demonstration kitchens, Wall St. rooms, decks and patios for gathering. While in the United States discrimination in housing is generally prohibited, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 (109 STAT. 787) allow communities to restrict residency to older individuals. Individuals may buy into these properties regardless of age, however, the owner may be prohibited from occupying the property according to the association declarations and bylaws.
Active Adult Communities
Active Adult Communities include single-family homes, town homes, cluster homes, manufactured housing and multifamily housing. There are two types: age-restricted and age-targeted.
Age-Restricted Communities are specifically aimed at persons age 55 and older. Under rules set down by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) in the Fair Housing Act, the housing must include at least one person who is age 55 or older in at least 80 percent of the occupied units. Anyone under the age of 19 is restricted from being a permanent resident. Residents typically lead an independent, active lifestyle in a country club setting where they can take advantage of amenities such as a clubhouse, a golf course, walking trails, hobby centers, computer labs, and other recreational spaces. These communities are usually not equipped to provide increased care or health-related services. Outdoor maintenance normally is included in a monthly homeowner’s association or condominium fee.
Age-Targeted Communities are similar to Age-Restricted Communities except their marketing targets adults age 55 or older but they are not explicitly age-restricted. Leisure Communities are another option for retirees. Homes in leisure communities are designed for empty nesters. There are no age restrictions. The environments often include amenities such as clubhouses, golf courses and community pools in resort-like settings. These communities offer predominately two and three bedroom homes and are perfect for those whose children have grown and moved away although children are welcome. They offer an array of homes that typically include features designed for a changing lifestyle.
Leisure World of Maryland is a private, age-restricted community located in Montgomery County, Maryland.
The Community was started in September of 1966 and encompasses a fenced, 610-acre parcel, with entry limited to residents and guests by using any of the three staffed gatehouses. There are approximately 8,000 people residing in Leisure World, which is sub-divided into 29 housing associations, referred to as Mutuals.
The Leisure World of Maryland Corporation (LWMC) manages the individual housing associations, as well as the Trust. There are approximately 220 full-time and part-time employees at Leisure World, who make this all possible. The Web site provides you with information relative to the Community operations.
The Community amenities, which are held in Trust for benefit of the residents, include an 18-hole golf course, two clubhouses, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, dining facilities, bus transportation (within the Community and to outside shopping centers), a medical center with pharmacy, and full maintenance services, to name a few.
A complete listing of amenities and services, along with other information about Leisure World, can be found throughout the Leisure World of Maryland Community Web site - www.lwmc.com.