At HARP we understand that having furry family members can make it much harder to find good-quality affordable housing. Use our resources to find housing assistance programs, identify insurance companies that do not discriminate by breed, build a pet resume, and learn about assistance animals (Service dogs and ESAs).

Most landlords with no-pet policies don’t hate animals! They just want to protect themselves from liability and their property from damage. If you are working with an individual landlord, they are often willing to be flexible if they think that you and your pets pose minimal risk to the property.

Public Assistance Programs:
Community Support Services:

An Assistance Animal is one that does work, performs tasks, provides assistance, and/or provides therapeutic emotional support with respect to the individual’s disability. An Assistance Animal can be a Service Animal or what is commonly called an Emotional Support Animal and their handlers are entitled to certain housing protections. Learn more.

Most renter’s and homeowner’s insurance policies unfortunately will not cover all dog breeds. Despite a lack of evidence that certain breeds are inherently more dangerous, if you own a dog who is even mixed with a restricted breed you will need to verify that the dog is covered by your insurance. If you have insurance that covers canine liability, this can help convince a landlord that you are a responsible pet owner! The most common breeds that insurance will not cover are any pit bull or bully breeds, but Akitas, German Shepherds, mastiffs, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers are also frequently excluded, and every provider’s list is different!

Homeowner’s and Renter’s Insurance:

Insurance that can cover dog-related liability either without a homeowner/renter policy or when the dog is not covered by that policy due to the dogs breed, history, etc.:

Show your landlord that your pet will not be a problem by making sure they are up to date on vaccines and spayed or neutered (our low-cost clinic can help!), and by creating a pet resume with references – especially previous landlords! Use our Microsoft Template here or create your pet’s resume online.

It can be harder to get around breed restrictions because those are often imposed on landlords by insurance companies. Let your landlord know if your renter’s insurance policy covers liability for your dog or ask if purchasing supplemental dog bite liability insurance would make a difference.

Let your landlord know that the research says pets are good for business! According to the Pet Inclusive Housing Report, on average, residents in pet-friendly housing stay 21% longer than those in non-pet-friendly housing. This translates to residents staying about 10 additional months. In addition, 83% of owner/operators say pet-friendly vacancies are filled faster.

Fewer than 10% of all pets cause damage of any kind, and only 2% cause damage that requires a security deposit deduction. The average cost of repairs when pets do cause damage is only $210, which is more than covered by the average pet rent and fees. For more information on the benefits of pet-friendly housing check out the Pet Inclusive Housing Initiative

For further assistance please contact the admissions team via our Pet Helpline at 412-345-0348 or