Posted on February 28, 2022

During the shutdown and social isolation of the COVID pandemic, *“Cindy” who has disabilities and lives by herself, adopted an emotional support cat based on her healthcare provider’s recommendation. Although she was living in a no-pet building, Cindy was not aware that she would need to inform her landlord about the cat as it had been prescribed for her. About a month later, the community manager of the apartment complex contacted Cindy and told her that she was in violation of her lease, needed to remove her cat from the premises immediately, and pay a $250 fine for bringing an animal on the property. She told the community manager that the cat was an emotional support animal; however, the manager still insisted that she remove it from the premises immediately and pay the $250. The manager told her that the apartments have specific forms that she would need to fill out and get approval from the manager first, and only then she could bring her emotional support animal into her home. *Name changed to protect privacy*. ____Protected Class in Violation: Disability____ Resolution: NWFHA assisted “Cindy” with a reasonable accommodation request to the Property Management company for the cat. NWFHA provided a letter explaining the misunderstanding and provided documentation to support the accommodation request, which included the healthcare provider’s verification letter. The situation was quickly resolved, and Cindy was allowed to have her cat reside with her and the $250 fine was waived. NWFHA’s education and advocacy work avoided a fair housing complaint with Housing and Urban Development and stabilized Cindy’s housing.