HUD Charges Pennsylvania Housing Provider With Discriminating Against People With Mental Disabilities

HUD charged Perry Homes, Inc., and Whittington and Whittington, doing business as Perry Homes, with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to allow assistance animals in rental properties in Harmony, Cranberry Township, and Zelienople, Pennsylvania. HUD’s charge specifically alleges that rental agents for Perry Homes told fair housing testers posing as prospective tenants with disabilities that they could accept service animals but were not permitted to accept “emotional support” animals. The case came to HUD’s attention when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services (SPLS), a HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agency, filed a complaint after testers posing as prospective tenants who said they had assistance animals were told that the animals were not allowed. Specifically, according to HUD’s charge, Perry Homes rental agents told testers that only registered service animals that had been trained for a specific duty would be permitted, and that Perry Homes was not obligated to accept “emotional support” animals.