Ever wonder how it is possible for huge Arizona retirement communities such as Sun City and Sun City West (to name a few) are legally allowed to discriminate on the basis of age who lives and does not live in their communities? Well, the The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 is supposed to ban such discrimination especially against those with disabilities and families with children. But this law, allows for exemptions for certain retirement communities who qualify with the federal government’s special requirements.
“Sun City AZ is an active adult community; the age limitation is built into the deed restrictions under the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 and the Arizona Fair Housing Act, collectively known as the Fair Housing Acts. At least one occupant of each residential unit must be 55 years of age or older and no person under 19 years of age shall occupy or reside in a residential unit for more than 90 days in any 12 month period. The Sun City Homeowners Association is responsible for enforcing the age restrictions.”-The Recreation Centers of Sun City’s (RCSC) management.
The belief among some political pundits in Arizona is that to win a state wide election a political candidate in either of the two major political parties can never be to liberal or will risk losing these large retirement communities who are allowed to legally discriminate based on age and whom are comprised mainly of ultra-conservative voters. And it follows, they say that this adherence by political candidates to the political center in Arizona is why at present Arizona is not a liberal state. So, these political pundits theorize that Arizona will not ever be a liberal state as long as these justice department exemptions allowing age discrimination by retirement communities in Arizona stay in place due to the overwhelming politically conservative make up of the senior citizens who live in these communities. The last Democratic governor named Janet Napolitano won her election by fewer then 12,000 votes. Again, some political pundits say that it was not because she was able to win over a conservative district as a Democrat but due to the fact that she was endorsed by a very popular and controversial Maricopa county, Arizona sheriff named Joe Arpaio who endorsed her.
I wrote this article originally on August 2nd, 2016
I have re-published it here on April 18th, 2016
Leonard Clark, progressive activist