Dogs and common facilities
From: Edwin Simmers (
Date: Sat, 5 Oct 2019 15:23:16 -0700 (PDT)
The original email in this thread asked what rules other communities have 
around dogs in the common house.

At Bellingham Cohousing we have two policies that apply to the question of dogs 
in the common house. There is a general Animal Policy and a Reasonable 
Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities Policy that addresses assistance 
animals (trained service animals and emotional support animals). Assistance 
animals are not considered “pets” under fair housing laws.

Our general Animal Policy states, "No pets are allowed in indoor common areas. 
Assistance animals allowed in indoor common areas may be excluded from 
particular common areas for health and safety reasons.”

Our Reasonable Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities Policy is based on 
the federal Fair Housing Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not 
apply to Bellingham Cohousing because we are not a “public accommodation” as 
defined in the ADA. Our policy is intended to protect the privacy and dignity 
of persons with disabilities, assure compliance with fair housing laws and 
provide access to the laws to all residents.

In a typical multi-family community the Fair Housing Act disabled persons 
typically apply to a housing provider’s management to request a reasonable 
accommodation. Because Bellingham Cohousing is self-managed without 
professional management, reasonable assistance requests are directed to our 
board president for review.

I’d be happy to email copies of our policies and the research we did to create 
and implement them to anyone who sends an email requesting that directly to my 
email address.

Harold Edwin Simmers
edwinsimmers [at]

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