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Unless a building or community qualifies as housing for older persons, it may not discriminate based on familial status. That is, it may not discriminate against families in which one or more children under 18 live with a parent, a person who has legal custody of the child or children, or the designee of the parent or legal custodian, with the parent or custodian’s written permission. Familial status protection also applies to pregnant women and anyone securing legal custody of a child under 18.

Housing for older persons is exempt from the prohibition against familial status discrimination if the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary has determined that it is specifically designed for and occupied by elderly persons under a Federal, State or local government program, or it is occupied solely by persons who are 62 or older, or it houses at least one person who is 55 or older in at least 80 percent of the occupied units, and adheres to a policy that demonstrates an intent to house persons who are 55 or older.

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