New HUD Guidelines on Assistance Animals

January 28, 2020, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) released new assistance on guidance animals. Notice FHEO-2020-01 (“Assistance Animals Notice”) includes two parts:

Assessing a Person’s Request to Have an Animal as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Fair Housing Act” contains best practices for complying with the Fair Housing Act (FHA) when assessing a person with a disability’s accommodation request involving animals in housing, including

  • differences between assistance animals and pets
  • types of accommodations that a housing provider may need to grant
  • assessing whether an animal is a service animal or an assistance animal other than a service animal (sometimes referred to as a support animal)
  • permissible inquiries regarding assistance animals, particularly if the individual’s disability is non-obvious or not otherwise known to the housing provider
  • the type of verification and documentation that a housing provider may request regarding an individual’s disability and disability-related need for an assistance animal
  • descriptions of the typical types of assistance animals
  • handling requests involving more than one animal
  • other best practices regarding reasonable accommodations for assistance animals.

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