The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has charged a manufactured home operator in Oceanside, CA, with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to grant a resident with disabilities a reasonable accommodation to have an emotional assistance animal. Read HUD’s charge. It is important to note that the facts from this case date back to 2018. HUD may well be taking a second look at cases brought to their attention during the previous administration.
HUD’s charge alleges that the community refused to allow a woman with mental health disabilities to have an assistance animal in her manufactured home. According to the charge, the community operator initially granted the woman a reasonable accommodation from its “no-pets” policy but later reversed its decision, telling her that only service dogs were permitted. The operator also allegedly sought to render a monetary fine against the woman for failure to comply with the community’s pet policy.
In its press release, HUD stated: “The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities, including refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices when such accommodations may be necessary to provide such individuals an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling. This includes permitting persons with disabilities to have service or assistance animals. It also requires housing providers that have “no-pets” policies to waive those for individuals who use assistance animals because of their disability.”
“A ‘no pets’ policy does not allow a housing provider to deny people with disabilities the right to needed assistance animals,” said Sasha Samberg-Champion, Deputy General Counsel for Enforcement and Fair Housing. “HUD will enforce the Fair Housing Act to ensure that persons with disabilities have the reasonable accommodations they need to use and enjoy their homes.”