Email Assemblyman Vito Lopez, chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, and ask him to hold a hearing on A2539.

Email Senator John DeFrancisco, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and ask him to hold a hearing on S785.

Email Senator Joseph Bruno, Majority Leader of the Senate, and tell him to support S785.

Email Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the Assembly, and ask him to support A2539.

Email your State Senator and State Assemblymember, and tell them why it's important this bill becomes law. To find out who represents you, click here.

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Housing for Senior Citizens with Pets
Assembly bill A2539/Senate bill S785

No-pets clauses in apartment leases severely limit the choices renters with cats and dogs have when looking for a home. Senior citizens are especially vulnerable, often having fewer resources, both financial and otherwise, and thus fewer housing options. Many elderly citizens would like to adopt pets and many with pets would like to move, but can't because of many buildings' no-pet policies.

A bill now before the state legislature would change that. It would prohibit landlords, coop and condo boards from denying occupancy to, or evicting, a person over age 62 on the sole ground that that person keeps a common household pet such as a cat or dog.

The bill includes important safeguards for landlords and neighbors. It would not cover animals prohibited by the multiple dwelling law -- such as the headline-grabbing tigers and alligators -- or animals who create a nuisance or interfere substantially with the health, safety or welfare of other tenants.

Tenants of all ages in public housing have the right to keep pets in their apartments. This right should be extended to all pet owners, but particularly to senior citizens.

This is an important bill for people and animals
  • Senior citizens who can't find pet-friendly housing are deprived of love and companionship.
  • Cats and dogs are an important source of intimacy and companionship for elderly people.
  • Twenty-five years of medical research show unequivocally that the elderly benefit enormously from companion animals, by both subjective and medically objective measures.
  • No less an authority than the US Centers for Disease Control states categorically that people with pets tend to have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • The CDC also notes the health benefits pets bring by alleviating loneliness and increasing exercise and opportunities for socializing.
  • All these positive benefits come without costing the taxpayer a cent.
  • And yet, in New York City alone, over 100 dogs and cats are put down every day simply because there aren't enough homes for them - a tragedy for the animals and a financial burden on taxpayers.

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