Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

Investigation into Emotional Support Animals

On Friday, November 8, the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD) sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), asking them to investigate websites selling assistance animal documentation. NAR had long been urging HUD to develop additional guidance for property owners when residents request an accommodation for an assistance animal. There have been a proliferation of web-generated documents purporting to provide medical documentation for the need for the accommodation. There are a number of legitimate reasons for someone to benefit from an assistance animal. But there have also been many cases of residents simply wanting to get out of paying a pay deposit or wanting to live in properties that do not allow pets. In their letter, HUD states that web-based forms are only reliable if "the provider has personal knowledge of the individual’s disability-related need for the animal." NAR applauds HUD for their efforts, and will continue to work with them to ensure individuals with disabilities have access to the services and accommodations they need, while others do not abuse the system.

HUD Press Release

HUD Letter to the FTC