M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal — Multifamily Development — May 15 - 28, 2020 — 11A


M ultifamily D evelopment By Bruce E. Gudin, Esq., Ehrlic, Petrillo, Gudin & Plaza, P.C. Reasonable accommodations for animals comments on revised H.U.D. guideline


ask in substance: (1) “Is the animal required because of a disability?” and (2) “What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?” Do not ask about the na- ture or extent of the person’s disability, and do not ask for documentation. ➢ If the answer to ques- tion (1) is “yes” and work or a task is identified in response to question (2), grant the requested accommodation, if otherwise reasonable, be- cause the animal qualifies as continued on page 16A

he Assistant Secre- tary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportu-

and facilities covered by the federal FAIR HOUSING ACT (FHA), including apartments, condominiums, cooperatives, single family homes, nursing homes, assisted living facili- ties, group homes, and other types of housing covered by the FHA, regardless of whether the housing is private, public, or receives federal financial assistance. It is for the benefit of In- dividuals with disabilities that affect major life activity who may request a reason- able accommodation, and by other members of the public,

including healthcare providers who may be asked to provide supporting information for persons who are requesting a reasonable accommodation for a disability. WHAT THE HOUSING PROVIDER MAY ASK: A: SERVICE ANIMALS – Housing providers may use the following questions to help them determine if an animal is a service animal 1. Is the animal a dog? ➢ If “yes,” proceed to the next question. ➢ If “no,” the animal is not a service animal but may be

another type of assistance animal for which a reasonable accommodation is needed. 2. Is it readily apparent that the dog is trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability? ➢ If “yes,” further inquiries are unnecessary and inappro- priate because the animal is a service animal. ➢ If “no,” proceed to the next question. 3. It is advisable for the housing provider to limit its inquiries to the following two questions: ➢ The housing provider may

nity of the Department of Housing and Urban R e n e w a l , b y No t i c e dated Janu- ary 29, 2020, revised the gu i d e l i n e s

Bruce E. Gudin

that had been issued in 2013. These are comments on the five sections (and the appendix) of the revised guidelines. The five sections are: Part I: Service Animals Part II: Analysis of reason - able accommodation requests under the Fair Housing Act for assistance animals other than service animals Part III: Criteria for assessing whether to grant the requested accommodation Part IV: Type of Animal Part V: General Consider - ations Over one half of Fair Housing Act complaints concern reason- able accommodation and dis- ability issues, and requests for reasonable accommodation for assistance animals are almost half of those. The issue has become prevalent by the in- creased practice of the sale and use of so-called “certificates” for assistance animals and in some instances, they have been used by persons who do not meet the requirements for a reasonable accommodation. The result has been confusion among housing providers. The Department therefore released this guidance to assist housing providers, individuals with disabilities, and the public to understand when the FHA requires a housing provider to grant a reasonable accom- modation to an individual who has a disability-related need for an assistance animal, including when the need for such an animal is not obvious and the animal does not have individualized training. The Notice does not affect any already-granted reason- able accommodations; it is intended to provide clarity for analyzing future requests for reasonable accommodations. WHO IS AFFECTED: The Assistance Animals Notice applies to housing, in- cluding public and common use areas of housing developments WHY THE NEW GUIDELINES:

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