|HUD No. 18-100
HUD Public Affairs
September 7, 2018
HUD REACHES AGREEMENT WITH NEVADA LANDLORDS SETTLING CLAIMS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has approved a Conciliation Agreement between Reno, Nevada-based CMS Property Services, LLC, and its property manager and a female tenant, resolving allegations that the manager sexually harassed the woman. CMS owns and/or manages close to 80 units in the Reno-Sparks area. Read the agreement.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful for a housing provider and its staff to sexually harass tenants. This includes creating a severe or pervasive hostile housing environment, or conditioning housing or housing-related services on the tenant's acquiescence to sexual demands. The Act also prohibits retaliating against persons who complain about housing discrimination.
"Never should anyone trying to provide a home for their family have to endure sexual harassment and lewd behavior in order to remain in that home," said Anna María Farías, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "HUD remains firmly committed to addressing this type of treatment and taking action against those who violate this nation's housing laws."
The case came to HUD's attention when a single mother of six filed a complaint alleging that the manager of her building sexually harassed her and created a hostile living environment, including unwanted touching and sexual comments. In addition, the woman alleged that CMS attempted to terminate her tenancy and failed to return a rent overpayment of $1,000 because she was unreceptive to the manager's advances.
Under the terms of the agreement, CMS Property Services, LLC, and the property manager will pay the woman $7,000, and the property manager and another staff member will attend fair housing training. CMS and the property manager will also modify their leases and applications to include a statement notifying applicants and tenants that they do not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, color, disability, sex, religion or familial status.
In July, HUD and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released a public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness of housing-related sexual harassment and to reach persons who are victimized by it. The goal of this campaign is to make it easier for victims all over the country to find resources and report harassment. Watch the public service announcement (PSA). HUD and DOJ are also providing training and best practice materials on preventing and addressing sexual and other discriminatory harassment in housing to public housing staff, private landlords who accept housing vouchers, and residents of public housing and voucher housing.
April 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. In commemoration, HUD, local communities, housing advocates, and fair housing organizations across the country have coordinated a variety of activities to enhance awareness of fair housing rights, highlight HUD's fair housing enforcement efforts, and end housing discrimination in the nation. For a list of planned activities, log onto www.hud.gov/fairhousingis50.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).