Housing providers must provide reasonable changes to building policies to allow persons with disabilities who require assistance animals to move into housing of their choice. This is according to a notice issued by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. This means that “no pets” policies or other pet restrictions cannot be used to deny or limit housing to people with disabilities who require the use of an assistance animal because of their disability. Service animals are not considered pets under the Fair Housing Act.
“The vital importance of assistance animals in reducing barriers, promoting independence, and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities should not be underestimated, particularly in the home,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Disability-related complaints, including those that involve assistance animals, are the most common discrimination complaint we receive. This notice will help housing providers better understand and meet their obligation to grant reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities that require assistance animals to fully use and enjoy their housing.”
For more information about HUD’s notice, please click here.