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Student Housing Services

Sandra Said:

Help, my apartment at my university won't let me keep my service dog!?

We Answered:

Start by writing a letter requesting a reasonable accommodation, if you haven't already. Make your request in writing and insist on a written reply. Include letters from your doctors stating that in their professional opinions you are disabled and the presence of the dog is necessary for your health. It is important that you document you did two things:
1. informed them of your disability
2. requested a reasonable accommodation in the form of an exception to "no pets" rules.

Here's a sample letter:…

While the FHAA applies to most housing, there are actually three different laws that apply to housing. It is more likely a university is going to fall under one of the other two. Section 504 of the Rehab Act applies to any entity that receives federal funds. Most universities do. Title II of the ADA applies to entities owned by states, which most universities are. Here's an article that gives a very brief overview of how these three laws work:…

Modify your letter requesting a reasonable accommodation to list all three laws.

Nine times out of ten I've found that sending the letter requesting a reasonable accommodation via certified mail is sufficient to resolve the problem. If it doesn't, it at least shows you made a good faith effort to resolve it without resorting to legal action.

The next step, if your request is denied, would be to file a complaint with your state human rights commission or with the U.S. Department of Justice or HUD. When an investigator from any of these calls to inquire about the problem, more often than not that resolves it.

Why do these two steps before going to an attorney? Because they are faster and less expensive. A typical court case takes three years to wind its way through the system. That isn't fast enough to resolve your problem. And even if you don't have to pay attorney's fees, you would still be responsible for various filing fees and other expenses related to suing someone.

Above all else, keep your tone calm and polite, exactly as you have in describing your situation here. Any communication you have with them may be shown to a judge later down the road and it is important that your behavior in the whole thing be above reproach, even if they are in the wrong, and even if it is distressing to you.

If these two steps do not resolve the problem quickly, then it's time to consult an attorney.

You should also print out and review this document:…

edited to add:

Through an odd quirk in the way different laws are written and interpreted, in both housing and air travel emotional support animals are considered a type of service animal, even though they are not considered service animals for the purposes of public access.

And you might also want to send your request directly to the university's legal department. The others you've been dealing with obviously haven't a clue. If the legal department doesn't either, it won't take them long at all to get up to speed on what their obligations are.

Please note: it is not the nature of the impairment (lupus or psychiatric) but the severity of the impairment which is the determining factor on whether an impairment is a disability. Lots of people have diagnoses of mental illness, but are not disabled by that illness, just as lots of people have vision impairments (need glasses) but are not blind. That's why you need a medical opinion that you are substantially limited in performing major life activities because of your impairments. There are details on that site for what to include in a physician's letter of support for a request for a reasonable accommodation.

Edited again, to clarify the difference between public access and housing. I actually wrote that article on psychiatric service dogs for Service Dog Central that UHave references. In that article I was talking specifically about public access, not housing. Title III (three) of the ADA doesn't apply to any kind of housing at all, just public access. Title II (two) of the ADA, which is about state and local governments, may apply to housing when a government entity owns the housing.

Johnnie Said:

I'm a 20 year old emanipated student hoping to transfer schools. i need some sort of housing assistance?

We Answered:

The financial aid office at the school you will be attending. You will probably need to fill out a FAFSA application if you haven't already. If you qualify for financial aid they should be able to help you with finding a place to live, either on campus or off campus.

Pamela Said:

draw a behavioral state machine to show various states that apartment class transition it's lifetime?

We Answered:

After looking at your problem I would suggest you try this source/link they should be able to help you. Hope that helps...

Rick Said:

Are there any low income housing &/or just general assistance for student sinlge mothers in Orange County, CA?

We Answered:

There are many places willing to help-look under social services in the yellow pages, go to the welfare dept and apply for aid, The EDD can also help, apply for grants thru the school. Your school can also help you in locating services that can help. Talk to people, youd be surprised at some of the referrals you will get. There is plenty of help-Good Luck

Brent Said:

Does anyone know of any christian churches in Phoenix that offer housing placement for students?

We Answered:

You could check the Phoenix paper (Arizona Republic) and see if anyone has any rooms for rent. (There is usually a separate section for this.) Then, you could ask if they are Christian. You could also check the yellow pages of the phone book for churches near where you will be and call them to see if they know of anyone who will rent out a room, or if they have a bulletin board to post your inquiry.

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