HUD Guidance on Emotional Support Animals

Legislative ,

HUD has finally released its long awaited guidance on Service/Support animals on January 28th, 2020.  Rather than acknowledging that the Justice Department, which handles the overarching ADA law, would be the best to handle the regulations, HUD justified its own need to weigh in under the Fair Housing Act.  The irony is that they even recognized in the guidance that their previous guidance has caused over 60% of the lawsuits and complaints they deal with are all related to their bastardization of Emotional Support Animals from the very real and necessary WORK performed by Service Animals.  So much fraud has entered this arena that over 37 states are considering or passed laws to mitigate some of the abuses under HUD’s previous guidance.  

While the 19 page guidance (here) is still under industry review for its impact, I would like to lower your expectations on there being a resolution any time soon, by sharing this one sentence on page 16, “Housing providers may not require health care professionals to use a specific form (including this document)…”  In other words, owner/operators cannot cite the guidance document that HUD is using to guide the owner/operators…  

Only in government…

​As industry guidance is developed to make sense of this latest mess, we will share it!  Hang in there.