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§5-11A-8. Religious organization or private club exemption.

(a) Nothing in this article 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 article 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 article 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 article 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 of the United States department of housing and urban development 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 sixty-two years of age or older; or

(C) Intended and operated for occupancy by at least one person fifty-five years of age or older per unit. In determining whether housing qualifies as housing for older persons under this subsection, the commission 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; (ii) that at least eighty percent of the units are occupied by at least one person fifty-five 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 fifty-five years of age or older.

(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 the date of enactment of this article who do not meet the age requirements of subdivision (2)(B) or (C) of this subsection: Provided, That new occupants of such housing meet the age requirements of such subdivisions; or (B) unoccupied units: Provided, however, That such units are reserved for occupancy by persons who meet the age requirements of subdivision (2)(B) or (C) of this subsection.

(4) Nothing in this article 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 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, Title 21, United States Code, Section 802.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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