In order to simplify the house-hunting for families with pets and families with lower income, US federal lawmakers have introduced two bills in June.

The U.S. Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), and Jason Crow (D-Colo.) have presented the Pets Belong with Families Act. This draft will ban breed-specific, size and weight restrictions entailed by public housing agencies (PHAs) on housing, so that pet owners can easier find a stable and affordable home.

Although, the bill will protect the PHAs’ legitimate discretionary power regarding “potentially dangerous individual animals,”especially, not overruling local jurisdictions or private housing limitations.

The second bill, the Providing for Unhoused People with Pets (PUPP) Act, was introduced by U.S. Reps. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), and suggests subsidies for homeless shelters accommodating pet owners.

As to this law, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is allowed to provide one-time grants for buying, restoration, re-purposing or construction of new buildings for homeless people owning a pet. Also, those subsidies can be uwes for pet-related operating costs, vet and behavioral services.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) welcomed the proposals of the federal lawmakers.

President and CEO, Matt Bershadker, stated: “The ASPCA is proud to support these critical pieces of legislation that protect the powerful and mutually beneficial connections between people and their beloved pets.”

President and CEO of the Pet Advocacy Network, Mike Bober, described the PUPP Act as an “important resource for pet owners in crisis” whereas the Pets Belong with Families Act “removes [the] barrier to pet ownership” that families with pets have to deal with in terms of public housing.

“[If] taken together, they would send a strong, clear message that Congress recognizes the power of pets in all our lives and takes steps to protect and encourage it,” he continues.

These legislations were mainly introduced because citizens face great problems finding housing like restrictions on breed, size, and weight, wholly no-pet policies or high pet deposists. Also, shelters often prohibit or strictly restrict the housing of pets.

According to the Pet-Inclusive Housing Report of 2021, 70% of renters declared that it was a challenge to find pet-friendly housing. Even 6 out of 10 respondents said that landlords calculated higher rent for housing with pets.

“These bills will ensure people living in affordable housing or experiencing homelessness can keep their pets by removing discriminatory breed restrictions in public housing and providing funding to housing services to accommodate pets,” says Rep. Adam Schiff.

Rep. Nancy Mace assumes the bill will remove a “significant barrier” to emergency accomodations.

In order to grant more freedom to pet-owning renters, the UK introduced a law earlier in 2023.

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