Trivia: When Did the First “Adult Community” Start?

January 28th, 2013

This one is filed under useless information for some, but candy for the urban and pop culture history buff.

While I was thumbing through the brochure for touting some exciting New Active Adult Communities near Atlanta (the sidewalks! the pools! the shopping!) that were strangely routed to my mailbox on pretense of my grossly miscalculated age, I wondered when this sort of allowed age discrimination in housing began. (Of course, I have to set this up. You didn’t think you would get the answer in the first line, did you?)

In 1954, the first intentional “adults only” community for residents 55 and older opened, not in Florida or California, but in balmy Youngstown, Ohio. This was the first marketed non-assistance, age restricted community. Four years later, the first true “active adult” community opened in Arizona with activities and attractions and the pull of living it up without tripping over tricycles. By rule of thumb, the home owner must be 55, and the youngest resident allowed in the households was a child or grandchild of the very august age of 19. The age restriction fluctuates from property to property. In the late 2000′s, I also heard of a Florida community that restricted residency to include only adults 40 and over.

Have you ever heard of an age discrimination suit from someone in their 30s wanting to live in a 55+ community? Neither have I.




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