A Philadelphia condominium complex could be facing civil penalties for not allowing service animals to walk the halls.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has determined there is cause for action against the Philadelphian Condos for failing to revise it’s “no pets” policy to accommodate owners who have service animals.
Melody Taylor Brancher is director of the office of Fair Housing in Philadelphia for HUD. She says the policy has been in place for a decade.
“A person with an assistance animal had to walk two or three city blocks to in order to access the freight elevator and could not use the main elevators or common areas, and that’s a violation of the fair housing act,” Brancher said.
Brancher says people who rely on service animals deserve to bring them in places where pets are not allowed.
“So if they need that assistance animal to be with them at all times and that has been prescribed by a physician they should have equal enjoyment, as you and I are able to walk through a building so should they,” she said.
The violation will be brought as a civil offense through the federal court system.
Managers of the complex did not respond to a request for comment on the issue.