An “Assistance Animal” is the recent term HUD adopted to refer to an Emotional Support Animal or a Service Animal in the housing accommodations process:
“An assistance animal is not a pet. It is an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.” [see FHEO Notice FHEO-2013-01, April 25, 2013]
In other words, there should be no difference in treatment between ESAs and Service Animals- they are both equals and neither should be treated with preference. Unfortunately, many housing providers think ESAs must undergo difference scrutiny to be granted a housing accommodation- this is untrue!