NEWS from Northwest ADA Center – Idaho

Small cute dog

  A new publication came out Jan 28th that provides guidance in how housing providers can comply to the Fair Housing Act when assessing a person’s request to have an assistance animal because of a disability.
    The Ace requires housing providers to permit a change in rule, a common one is a reasonable accommodation to a no pet policy. A person with a disability that affects a major life activity may require an assistance animal to perform tasks, or a therapeutic emotional support animal. The housing providers may confirm, whether the requested accommodation is needed because of a disability that affects a major life activity and it is a reasonable request.
    This will help housing providers by offering a step-by-step set of best practices for complying with the Act when assessing requests involving animals. It lists information the person may need to provide about his or her disability-related need for the accommodation, including providing support information from a health care professional.
    “In my many discussions with housing providers and residents,” stated Secretary Ben Carson, “I recognized the necessity for further clarity regarding support animals to provide peace of mind to individuals with disabilities while taking into account the concerns of housing providers.”
    With the Assistance Animals Notice, both housing providers and individuals with disabilities will better understand their rights and obligations under the Fair Housing Act regarding assistance animals, particularly emotional support animals. 

For housing providers, this is a tool that can be used to help them navigate various sets of complex circumstances to ensure reasonable accommodations are provided where required so that persons with disability -related need for an assistance animal have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their housing. The guidance will help ensure that legal rights are asserted only in appropriate circumstances.
  Additionally, this new Assistance Animal Notice provides information on the types of animals that may typically be appropriate and best practices for when the requested animal is not one that is traditionally kept in the home. 



For more information about the ADA contact:

Dana Gover, MPA, and ACTCP Certification, ADA Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator 

For more information about ADA Technical Assistance visit the NW ADA Center Idaho website:
Phone: Voice and Text 208-841-9422
Idaho Relay Service: 7