Vacancy rates are rising fast within senior communities nationwide amidst an unparalleled financial crisis. “From Florida to Arizona, condos are sitting idle as potential buyers find themselves stuck, unable to sell their houses and relocate,” reports the Wall Street Journal. As a result, several communities are suggesting the elmination of age restrictions — a proposal that is firing up debate.

“Desegregation is a hard sell among some residents of these developments, who say the change would ruin the dream they bought into in the first place. An influx of younger residents could also affect relations with surrounding neighborhoods. Municipalities have long favored developments for retirees because they don’t require additional services like schools,” the Journal reports. “No one is predicting that age-restricted living will disappear entirely. But the financial downturn could be the tipping point that forces some places to reinvent themselves.”

About 1.1 million households could be found in active-adult settings. That number is down from 1.8 million in 2001, according to reported statistics from the National Association of Home Builders.