BILL NO A01843
SAME AS SAME AS S01824
SPONSOR Gibson (MS)
MLTSPNSR Colton, Glick, Hooper, Millman, Stevenson
Add S223-c, Pub Hous L
Allows persons 62 years or older to keep and care for common household pets in
municipal housing; prevents eviction of such persons based on the ownership of
pets; provides that any pet who poses a nuisance to the community may be
removed; does not remove any pet owner from liability for the reasonable costs
directly attributable to any damage caused by the pet.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public housing law, in relation to
the keeping of certain household pets by persons sixty-two years of age
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To provide that persons 62 years of age or older be allowed to care for
a common household pet and not be denied occupancy in municipal housing.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
The public housing law is amended by adding a new section 223-c to
provide that: 1) no person 62 years of age or older may be denied munic-
ipal housing on the grounds that such person has a common household pet;
2) such person must comply with regulations governing the keeping of
such pets, including waste disposal, registration, inoculations, provid-
ing for alternate caretakers, among others; 3) any pet who poses a
nuisance to the community may be removed; 4) the owner will not be
financially responsible for any reasonable repair or replacement costs
attributable to the pet.
Medical studies have clearly demonstrated the health benefits, both
physical and emotional, that pets provide elderly persons and the seri-
ous health problems that such persons could develop if the pets are
removed. Clearly, the mental and physical well-being of elderly persons
should not be placed in jeopardy merely because they have pets. New York
State presently puts elderly persons in the difficult position of either
being denied occupancy because they own a pet (a denial which only comes
after months of waiting by the senior citizen for public housing) or,
after living in public housing for some time with the pet, being threat-
ened with eviction lest they give up the pet. This is due to the public
housing authorities' unwillingness to allow our senior citizens to keep
Elderly people, often living alone, should not be denied the companion-
ship of an animal and the added security that an animal can provide
them, particularly during these times when violent crimes are increas-
Thousands of strays and unwanted animals for whom responsible homes
cannot be found are euthanized by shelters throughout New York State
This legislation is consistent with federal regulations for federally
assisted housing for the elderly stating that discrimination against
elderly pet owners is illegal.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-2012: A.7873 - Referred to Housing, S. 3117 - Housing
2009-2010: A.188 - Referred to Housing
2007-2008: A.160 - Referred to Housing
2005-2006: A.580 - Referred to Housing
This act shall take effect on the first of June in the year next
succeeding the year in which it shall have become a law, provided that
any regulations required for the implementation of this act shall be
promulgated at least 30 days prior to such effective date.
S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
I N A S S E M B L Y
January 9, 2013
Introduced by M. of A. GIBSON -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. COLTON,
GLICK, HOOPER, MILLMAN, STEVENSON -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Housing
AN ACT to amend the public housing law, in relation to the keeping of
certain household pets by persons sixty-two years of age or older
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
1 Section 1. The public housing law is amended by adding a new section
2 223-c to read as follows:
3 S 223-C. DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PERSONS WHO HAVE CERTAIN HOUSEHOLD
4 PETS. 1. NO PERSON WHO IS SIXTY-TWO YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER SHALL BE
5 DENIED OCCUPANCY IN A DWELLING IN ANY HOUSING PROJECT OR BE SUBJECTED TO
6 EVICTION FROM ANY SUCH DWELLING ON THE SOLE GROUND THAT SUCH PERSON HAS
7 A COMMON HOUSEHOLD PET WHICH WILL OR DOES RESIDE WITH SUCH PERSON THERE-
9 2. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS FOR THE KEEPING OF
10 COMMON HOUSEHOLD PETS BY PERSONS SIXTY-TWO YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER WHO
11 RESIDE IN A DWELLING IN ANY HOUSING PROJECT. SUCH REGULATIONS MAY
12 INCLUDE CONSIDERATION, AFTER CONSULTATION WITH THE TENANTS OF SUCH HOUS-
13 ING PROJECT, OF OTHER REASONABLE FACTORS TO GOVERN THE KEEPING OF COMMON
14 HOUSEHOLD PETS SUCH AS DENSITY OF TENANTS, PET SIZE, POTENTIAL FINANCIAL
15 OBLIGATIONS OF TENANTS, AND STANDARDS OF PET CARE. SUCH REGULATIONS MAY
16 INCLUDE AND ALL PET OWNERS SHALL COMPLY WITH, THE FOLLOWING IF REQUIRED:
17 (A) INOCULATIONS AND LICENSING MANDATED BY STATE AND LOCAL LAWS;
18 (B) SANITARY STANDARDS GOVERNING THE DISPOSAL OF PET WASTE;
19 (C) LIMITING THE KEEPING OF COMMON HOUSEHOLD PETS TO ONE PER HOUSEHOLD
20 AT ANY GIVEN TIME;
21 (D) PET RESTRAINT IN COMMON AREAS;
22 (E) PET REGISTRATION; AND
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
A. 1843 2
1 (F) ALTERNATE CARETAKERS IN THE CASE OF SICKNESS OR INCAPACITY OF THE
2 PET OWNER.
3 3. MUNICIPAL HOUSING AUTHORITIES MAY PROMULGATE SUPPLEMENTARY RULES
4 AND REGULATIONS TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, NOT INCON-
5 SISTENT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION OR THE COMMISSIONER'S REGU-
7 4. ANY PET WHOSE CONDUCT OR CONDITION IS DULY DETERMINED TO CONSTITUTE
8 A NUISANCE OR A THREAT TO THE HEALTH OR SAFETY OF THE OTHER OCCUPANTS OF
9 SUCH HOUSING PROJECT, OR OF OTHER PERSONS IN THE COMMUNITY WHERE SUCH
10 HOUSING PROJECT IS LOCATED, MAY BE REMOVED BY THE MUNICIPAL HOUSING
11 AUTHORITY, PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER HAVING JURISDICTION, OR OTHER APPROPRI-
12 ATE AUTHORITY OF THE COMMUNITY WHERE SUCH HOUSING PROJECT IS LOCATED.
13 FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION A NUISANCE MEANS THE SUBSTANTIAL INTERFER-
14 ENCE WITH THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND COMFORT OF THE OTHER TENANTS OF THE
15 HOUSING PROJECT, OR OF OTHER PERSONS IN THE COMMUNITY WHERE SUCH HOUSING
16 PROJECT IS LOCATED.
17 5. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION RELIEVES ANY PET OWNER FROM LIABILITY FOR
18 THE REASONABLE COSTS DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO ANY DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE
19 PET, INCLUDING THE COST OF REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENTS THERETO.
20 6. ANY AGREEMENT BY A LESSEE OR TENANT WAIVING OR MODIFYING THE RIGHTS
21 CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION FOR THE KEEPING OF COMMON HOUSEHOLD PETS BY
22 PERSONS SIXTY-TWO YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER SHALL BE VOID AS CONTRARY TO
23 PUBLIC POLICY.
24 7. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "COMMON HOUSEHOLD PET"
25 SHALL INCLUDE A DOG, CAT, GERBIL, HAMSTER, GUINEA PIG, BIRD, OR FISH.
26 S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of June in the year next
27 succeeding the year in which it shall have become a law; provided that
28 any regulations required for the implementation of this act shall be
29 promulgated at least 30 days prior to such effective date.