Pets and Service Animals

Pets and Service Animals

If you live in a GHA public housing apartment, you can keep certain household pets or service animals, as long as they don’t disturb your neighbors.

Any animals that you plan to keep in your apartment must be approved and registered with GHA before they are allowed in your apartment.  Visiting animals are not allowed on our properties.

Types of Animals Allowed

Common Household Dog or Cat

  • Maximum number of one per household
  • Maximum adult size is less than 25 pounds or under 20 inches tall from head to floor
  • Some dog breeds are not permitted, such as: German Shepherd; Rottweiler; Doberman Pinscher; Pit Bull; Chow; Spitz; a mix of these breeds; dogs trained to attack; or others, as Home Forward may determine
  • A $100 animal deposit is required for a dog or cat at the time of approval; the deposit is refundable once the animal no longer lives in your apartment, minus any charges for pet-related damages or costs

Service, Assistive, and Companion Animals

  • Must be approved by our Disability Coordinator as a reasonable accommodation for a disabling condition
  • The need for the animal must be documented by a physician or other professional who is in a position to know about the individual’s disability
  • No animal deposit is required for properly documented service, assistive, or companion animals

Other Types of Animals Usually Allowed

  • Birds (maximum of 3 per household)
  • Fish (maximum tank capacity of 20 gallons)
  • Other small animals (maximum of 2 per household): guinea pig, hamster, gerbil, rabbit, turtle, or lizard (under 12 inches in length when fully grown)

Animal Requirements and Guidelines

Care for Your Animal

Your animals may be cared for and fed inside your apartment only. Do not feed or water stray animals. Dispose of animal waste, including litter, inside a sealed plastic bag, and place it in a trash can or dumpster (not in a trash chute or toilet). If Home Forward staff has to pick up after your animal, you will be charged a fee.

Keep Your Animal Secure

When outside your apartment, your cat or dog must always be on a leash or inside a secure carrier. All other types of animals must be kept in a cage or aquarium inside your apartment, or inside a secure carrier during transport. You may not construct any cages or perches for animals outside of your apartment.

Make Arrangements When You’re Gone

It’s your responsibility to make sure someone cares for your animal if you are away from home, and to notify your property manager of the arrangements. Home Forward will try to contact you if there is a concern regarding your animal, and if you are unreachable we will call your emergency contact. If neither of you can be reached, then we may contact the appropriate state or local agency to take custody of your animal.

Respect Your Neighbors

Animals are not allowed to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the property by other residents. Prevent your animal from barking, howling, biting, scratching, or being a nuisance to others.

We Recommend Pet Liability Insurance

As an animal’s legal guardian, you may be held liable for any injury or damage the animal causes to other people or to property. Home Forward strongly recommends that you purchase a personal liability insurance policy for coverage against such damages.

Apartment Inspections

If there is a concern regarding the health, safety, or behavior of your animal, GHA may inspect your apartment to ensure you are in compliance with these rules. You will be notified of the inspection in accordance with your lease.