42 U.S.C. § 3607

Current through P.L. 116-38 (08/02/2019)
Section 3607 - Religious organization or private club exemption
(a) Nothing in this subchapter shall prohibit a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, from limiting the sale, rental or occupancy of dwellings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion, or from giving preference to such persons, unless membership in such religion is restricted on account of race, color, or national origin. Nor shall anything in this subchapter prohibit a private club not in fact open to the public, which as an incident to its primary purpose or purposes provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose, from limiting the rental or occupancy of such lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members.
(b)
(1) Nothing in this subchapter limits the applicability of any reasonable local, State, or Federal restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling. Nor does any provision in this subchapter regarding familial status apply with respect to housing for older persons.
(2) As used in this section, "housing for older persons" means housing-
(A) provided under any State or Federal program that the Secretary determines is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons (as defined in the State or Federal program); or
(B) intended for, and solely occupied by, persons 62 years of age or older; or
(C) intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older, and-
(i) at least 80 percent of the occupied units are occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older;
(ii) the housing facility or community publishes and adheres to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent required under this subparagraph; and
(iii) the housing facility or community complies with rules issued by the Secretary for verification of occupancy, which shall-
(I) provide for verification by reliable surveys and affidavits; and
(II) include examples of the types of policies and procedures relevant to a determination of compliance with the requirement of clause (ii). Such surveys and affidavits shall be admissible in administrative and judicial proceedings for the purposes of such verification.
(3) Housing shall not fail to meet the requirements for housing for older persons by reason of:
(A) persons residing in such housing as of September 13, 1988, who do not meet the age requirements of subsections 1 (2)(B) or (C): Provided, That new occupants of such housing meet the age requirements of subsections 1 (2)(B) or (C); or
(B) unoccupied units: Provided, That such units are reserved for occupancy by persons who meet the age requirements of subsections 1 (2)(B) or (C).
(4) Nothing in this subchapter prohibits conduct against a person because such person has been convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction of the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance as defined in section 802 of title 21.
(5)
(A) A person shall not be held personally liable for monetary damages for a violation of this subchapter if such person reasonably relied, in good faith, on the application of the exemption under this subsection relating to housing for older persons.
(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, a person may only show good faith reliance on the application of the exemption by showing that-
(i) such person has no actual knowledge that the facility or community is not, or will not be, eligible for such exemption; and
(ii) the facility or community has stated formally, in writing, that the facility or community complies with the requirements for such exemption.

1 So in original. Probably should be "paragraph".

42 U.S.C. § 3607

Pub. L. 90-284, title VIII, §807, Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 84; Pub. L. 100-430, §6(d), Sept. 13, 1988, 102 Stat. 1622; Pub. L. 104-76, §§2, 3, Dec. 28, 1995, 109 Stat. 787.

CODIFICATIONSeptember 13, 1988, referred to in subsec. (b)(3)(A), was in the original "the date of enactment of this Act", which was translated as meaning the date of enactment of Pub. L. 100-430, which enacted subsec. (b) of this section, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

AMENDMENTS 1995-Subsec. (b)(2)(C). Pub. L. 104-76, §2, amended subpar. (C) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (C) read as follows: "intended and operated for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit. In determining whether housing qualifies as housing for older persons under this subsection, the Secretary shall develop regulations which require at least the following factors:"(i) the existence of significant facilities and services specifically designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons, or if the provision of such facilities and services is not practicable, that such housing is necessary to provide important housing opportunities for older persons; and"(ii) that at least 80 percent of the units are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit; and"(iii) the publication of, and adherence to, policies and procedures which demonstrate an intent by the owner or manager to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older." Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 104-76, §3, added par. (5). 1988-Pub. L. 100-430 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1988 AMENDMENT Amendment by Pub. L. 100-430 effective on 180th day beginning after Sept. 13, 1988, see section 13(a) of Pub. L. 100-430, set out as a note under section 3601 of this title.

REGULATIONSPub. L. 102-550, title IX, §919, Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 3883, provided that: "The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall, not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 28, 1992], make rules defining what are 'significant facilities and services especially designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons' required under section 807(b)(2) of the Fair Housing Act [ 42 U.S.C. 3607(b)(2) ] to meet the definition of the term 'housing for older persons' in such section."

Secretary
The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. 1 See References in Text note below.
owner
The term "owner" means, with respect to federally assisted housing, the entity or private person, including a cooperative or public housing agency, that has the legal right to lease or sublease dwelling units in such housing.