HRC Emotional Support & Service Animals Partnership

(LOS ANGELES) — The Housing Rights Center (HRC) continues its fight against housing discrimination by partnering with local city agencies to provide necessary information about service and emotional support/assistance animals.
HRC partnered with the Los Angeles Animal Services and Housing and Community Investment Department to present a six-part series throughout the City of Los Angeles. Over 100 community members attended the presentations, titled “Pets in Rental Housing,” where they were informed of city regulations regarding pets in residential areas, as well as a comprehensive overview of the rights to service and support animals provided to persons with disabilities under the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA).
Under the FHA, persons with disabilities are afforded the right to reasonable accommodations or changes in rules/policies in order to allow them to fully use and enjoy their housing. A request for a service or support animal to live in rental housing would be considered a reasonable accommodation. Other examples include waiving an existing “No Pet” policy for tenants with mental or physical disabilities who require an animal for medical purposes, or waiving any additional pet fees that would be required for other tenants. Those interested in requesting an accommodation should be prepared to provide a letter from a doctor, therapist, or social worker confirming their disability and need for a medically necessary animal.

The presentations included examples of prohibited practices under the FHA that could be reported to the Housing Rights Center. Practices such as refusing to rent to a tenant who would require a medically necessary animal or charging additional fees in order to approve a request would be considered unlawful under the FHA. Unfortunately, this type of discrimination is commonly seen throughout communities in Southern California as our numbers continue to show disability discrimination as the most reported type of discrimination. 

HRC fights against unlawful practices in housing by providing free educational programs as well as enforcing federal and state fair housing laws throughout the Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Every year we assist over 20,000 community members with housing related concerns through our free counseling service. Individuals who believe they are victims of housing discrimination or who have questions about the fair housing laws may contact HRC for assistance at 1-800-477-5977 (voice), 213-201-0867 (TTY) or

Office locations are handicap accessible.

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