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HUD No. 20-057
HUD Public Affairs
(202) 708-0685
FOR RELEASE
Wednesday
April 29, 2020

SECRETARY BEN CARSON COMMENDS DOJ’S DECISION TO LAUNCH INVESTIGATION INTO SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINTS


WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Carson today praised Attorney General William Barr for devoting all “necessary resources” to aide HUD investigations into reports of landlords demanding sexual favors in exchange for rent.

“The Fair Housing Act embodies the spirit of this great Nation where everyone is entitled to equal opportunity and respect,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “No one should have to endure sexual harassment and degrading treatment, especially to keep a roof over their heads. I’m pleased Attorney General Barr has partnered with HUD to fully investigate and prevent sexual harassment in housing particularly during this difficult time in our country.”

The Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation coincides with National Fair Housing month and the HUD public awareness campaign – Call HUD: Because Sexual Harassment in Housing is Illegal.

Since the joint HUD-DOJ sexual harassment initiative was launched two years ago, HUD and its partner organizations have processed around 540 sexual harassment complaints. Brave victims have spoken out and shared their stories about sexual harassment by their landlord or property manager to help educate others on their Fair Housing rights and highlight HUD’s available resources to protect tenants and their families.

April is Fair Housing Month, a time to shine light on the law that makes housing discrimination for any reason illegal. This year’s theme for the month, Call HUD: Because Sexual Harassment in Housing is Illegal, is timely, and important, and focuses on protecting individuals from harassment by property owners, managers, maintenance workers or other residents. In addition, it helps to educate the public about what behaviors and actions constitute sexual harassment and promotes resources HUD offers to those who are subjected to harassment.

HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity will offer training for the public on sexual harassment in housing in the weeks to come. This national training event is intended to increase the public’s knowledge of sexual and other forms of harassment in housing, how to prevent it from occurring, and how to address it when it happens. This web-based, self-paced training may be viewed on the “Preventing Sexual and Other Discriminatory Harassment in Housing” webpage on HUD Exchange.

Persons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 or visiting How to File a Complaint on HUD’s website. Materials and assistance are available for persons with limited English proficiency. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the Department using the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

 

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