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An Overview of The Americans With Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act

Bodily disabilities almost always hamper your life. Then can be physical, mental or even emotional. However, there are some emotional support animal laws that help those with disabilities: The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and The Fair Housing Act (FHA)

If are new to a disability or are planning to invest in animal therapy there can be a lot of confusion. It is very important for you to learn what these laws can help you with.

The ADA and FHA are definitely not the same, despite what many blogs may tell you. Here is all you need to know about these two and how they are different from each other.

ADA (The Americans With Disabilities Act)
This is a civil right law enacted in 1990 to ensure that individuals with disabilities get equal opportunity. It can protect you in places like schools, employment sector, during transport and all private and public places.

1.Public Access
The public places where you can take your animal need to have certain accessibility features to accommodate them. But, it is not applicable to community associations, condos, private housing boards or apartments.

2. Disability Class
This act only protects the interests of individuals with disabilities.

3. Construction & Design Requirements
The ADA requires public places and housing run by associations have features mentioned in the ADAAG (ADA Accessibility Guidelines).

4. Enforcement
The Department of Justice is directly involved in the enforcement of the American With Disabilities Act

6. Proactive
The ADA is a proactive statute that requires public associations to allow for accessibility features for your disability only if they are ‘readily achievable’. They are under no obligation by law to make changes that allow for access to the disabled.

The Fair Housing Act
The FHA is the primary emotional support animal housing law protects interests of people emotional and psychological disabilities by allowing them to live with their emotional support or service animal. All associations, apartment complexes, and landlords are obligated to allow your pet to live with you even if the house falls in a ‘no-pet zone’.

This law makes sure that individuals of a certain class get equal access when it comes to housing and the services and facilities associated with it.

1.Private Access
The Fair Housing Act governs private associations and communities and there directly has an effect on the operations of these communities.

2. Broader Protected Class
The FHA not only protects the interests of individuals on the grounds of disability. But, governs on a broader aspect by taking color, race, sex, religion, disability, familial status, and national origin.

3. Construction & Design Requirements
Unlike the ADA, this law does not require any property to be refitted with accessibility features if it was constructed before 1991.

4. Enforcement
The Department of Justice, the city and county human rights commission, state and local fair housing boards and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

5. Reactive
The FHA is a reactive statute and doesn’t require an association to take action unless they receive a request from any owner or resident otherwise.

Now that you know what these ESA laws are and what they can do, you can see which can be of more help to you. When it comes to having a pet and taking their support in the form of animal therapy, it is advisable that you get an ESA recommendation from a licensed doctor.

Still have questions?

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