Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation today (S6172/A7331) prohibiting housing providers from discriminating against a person who relies on an animal for assistance alleviating symptoms or the effects of a disability. Housing providers must now provide a reasonable accommodation by permitting a support animal to live in a home that otherwise would have prohibited pets.
“New Yorkers have zero tolerance for discrimination of any type and this measure will protect some of the most vulnerable among us who require a support animal to help function in their daily lives,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this legislation, we take one more step towards a stronger, fairer and more compassionate New York for all.”
The Division of Human Rights has found in appropriate circumstances where it is reasonable to permit such an accommodation to a housing provider’s “no pets” policy, where medical evidence or other professional evidence shows that the animal aids the person with the disability by alleviating the symptoms or effects of a disability.
Senator Monica R. Martinez said, “I like to thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important piece of legislation which will protect the rights of individuals who depend on an animal to provide emotional support and/or comfort on a daily basis. Discrimination on the basis of any disability is against humanity and no one should be subjected to such treatment especially within the confines of their own home. People who utilize these animals do so for the overall well-being of their physical, emotional and mental health. I hope this legislation brings individuals a sense of ease knowing they are now protected. ”
Assemblymember Erik M. Dilan continued stating, “I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and the NYS Division of Human Rights for this important legislation for the disabled New Yorkers. This new law would clarify the rights off the disabled if their animal is medically proven to alleviate the symptoms of the disability. Thankfully this will no longer be subject to unclear situations for the Judicial Branch to solve.”