An emotional support animal is a companion animal that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. ... The animal is viewed as a "reasonable accommodation" under the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHA or FHAct) to those housing communities that have a "no pets" rule.
4. Does the Fair Housing Act (FHA) apply to all housing?
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) does apply to almost all housing types including those for sale or rent. This includes apartments, condominiums, and single family homes. Here is how HUD describes what housing is covered:
What Types of Housing Are Covered?
The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. In very limited circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family houses sold or rented by the owner without the use of an agent, and housing operated by religious organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
16. Can I bring my emotional support animal/assistance animal to university or on-campus housing?
A couple of courts have dealt with this issue. Many college campuses have "no pets" rules for their housing. One case said that on-campus housing meets the definition of "dwelling" under the Fair Housing Act. Thus, that college was required to make reasonable accommodations for disabled students under the Fair Housing Act in its on-campus housing. Many colleges and universities have now adopted policies for the use of assistance animals in housing.
What does "reasonable accommodation" mean?
An emotional support animal is a type of assistance animal that is recognized as a "reasonable accommodation" for a person with a disability under the federal Fair Housing Act (FHAct, 42 U.S.C.A. 3601 et seq.). The assistance animal is not a pet according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD is the agency that oversees the FHAct and investigates claims of housing discrimination.
There are only two questions that HUD says a housing provider should consider with a request for an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation:
(1) Does the person seeking to use and live with the animal have a disability — i.e., a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities?
(2) Does the person making the request have a disability-related need for an assistance animal? In other words, does the animal work, provide assistance, perform tasks or services for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provide emotional support that alleviates one or more of the identified symptoms or effects of a person's existing disability?