Riverbay is committed to granting reasonable accommodations to its rules, policies, practices, or services when such accommodations may be necessary to afford people with disabilities the equal opportunity to use and enjoy their dwellings, as required by federal, state and local law. A reasonable accommodation may include a change or exception to a rule or policy that is needed because of a person’s disability, or it may be a physical change to a unit or common area. It is Riverbay’s general policy to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities whenever an individual has a disability and there is a disability-related need for the requested accommodation. A disability-related need for a requested accommodation exists when there is an identifiable relationship, or nexus, between the requested accommodation and the individual’s disability.
Riverbay accepts reasonable accommodation requests from persons with disabilities and those acting on their behalf. Reasonable Accommodation Request forms are available in your local Cooperator Services Office, and may be returned to that office when completed. They will then be forwarded to the Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator. If you require assistance in completing the form, or wish to make the request orally, please contact the Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator at 718-320-3300, extension 3329. Riverbay will keep a record of all requests.
We will make a prompt decision on your request. If the request is of a time-sensitive nature, please let us know and we will expedite the decision-making process. In the event we need additional information to make a determination, we will promptly advise you of the information needed. It is Riverbay’s policy to seek only the information needed to determine if a reasonable accommodation should be granted under federal, state or local law. We will not ask about the nature or extent of your disabilities. If we grant the request, you will receive a letter so indicating.
If we deny the request, we will provide you with a letter stating all of the reasons for our denial. If an individual with a disability believes that the request has been denied unlawfully or a response has been unreasonably delayed, then he or she may file a complaint by writing or calling any of the following:
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity 26 Federal Plaza, Room 3532 New York, NY 10278-0068 1-800-496-4294 http://hud.gov/complaints
New York State Division of Human Rights One Fordham Plaza, 4th Floor Bronx, NY 10458 Tel No. (718) 741-8400 TDD: 1-718-741-8300 http://www.dhr.state.ny.us
New York City Commission on Human Rights 100 Gold Street, Suite 4600 New York,NY 10038 (212) 306-7450 http://www.nyc.gov/cchr
One common type of reasonable accommodation is allowing a person with a disability to keep an assistance animal. An assistance animal is any animal that works, provides assistance, performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. Riverbay is committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities may keep such animals in Co-op City to the extent required by federal, state and local law.
An animal that is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability is known as a service animal. It is often readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, such as a dog that guides an individual with a visual impairment. Where it is readily apparent that an animal is a trained service animal, for example, a dog trained to guide an individual with a visual impairment, Riverbay will not inquire about the individual’s disability or the animal’s training.
In the case of a resident who requests a reasonable accommodation for an assistance animal that provides emotional support or other assistance that ameliorates one or more symptoms or effects of the resident’s disability, Riverbay may require a statement from a health or social service professional1 indicating:
i. That the applicant has a disability, and
ii. That the animal would provide emotional support or other assistance that would ameliorate one or more symptoms or effects of the disability.
In the case of a resident who requests a reasonable accommodation for an assistance animal that does work or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, Riverbay may require that the resident provide:
i. A statement from a health or social service professional indicating that the person has a disability, and
ii. Information that the animal has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks that would ameliorate one or more symptoms or effects of the disability, or information that the animal, despite lack of individual training, is able to do work or perform tasks that would ameliorate one or more symptoms or effects of the disability.
If an assistance animal both provides emotional support or other assistance that ameliorates one or more effects of a disability and does work or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a physical disability, Riverbay may require compliance with either of the two preceding paragraphs, but not both.
In order to minimize the effect on other shareholders, Riverbay prefers but does not require that emotional support animals have an adult weight of 25 pounds or less, that animals be spayed or neutered, and that applicants choose an emotional support animal that does not have an exceptionally strong bite strength.