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A new report from nonprofits Michelson Found Animals Foundation and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) finds that rental housing owners and operators can attract and retain more residents by offering pet-inclusive housing.

The “Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative Report” outlines the path to creating more than 8 million new pet-friendly rental homes in the nation.

Some key findings include:

  • Residents in pet-friendly housing remain 21% longer than those in housing not allowing pets;
  • 83% of owners and operators reported that pet-friendly vacancies are filled faster;
  • 72% of residents said pet-friendly housing is difficult to find;
  • 59% of residents reported pet-friendly housing as too expensive; and
  • 35% of residents who currently didn’t own a pet said they would get one if restrictions on their rental housing were lifted.

“Michelson Found Animals and HABRI developed this report to provide clear and detailed market-based strategies that benefit all—housing owners/operators, residents, and our beloved pets, who have been so important to us during the pandemic,” said Brett Yates, CEO of Michelson Found Animals Foundation, an animal welfare nonprofit that champions people and pets together. “We look forward to sharing this report to create more pet-inclusive housing for healthier, more connected communities.”

The report, which is based on data collected prior to the pandemic, also shows that increasing the availability of pet-inclusive housing can help families find the homes they need, provide economic benefits to owners and operators, and help up to 8.2 million animals find new homes over time.

“This report is grounded in data that will spur common-sense changes to increase the availability of pet-inclusive housing,” said Steven Feldman, president of HABRI, a nonprofit research and education organization that gathers, funds and shares scientific research to demonstrate the positive health impacts of companion animals. “Our message to housing providers is that they can do good and capture an economic opportunity by easing restriction on pets in rental housing communities.”

To provide pet-inclusive housing, the report provides solutions for owners and operators to consider:

  • Offer a free month of pet rent or waive pet deposits and instead rely on security deposits to cover the damage pets may cause;
  • Create a screening process and pet agreement that focuses on well-behaved pets and owners;
  • Formalize the types of pets allowed in the community;
  • Increase the number of pets that can live in a unit from one to two; and
  • Coordinate with shelters and pet adoption agencies to organize virtual meetings with pets.