|HUD No. 21-169
HUD Public Affairs
October 7, 2021
HUD APPROVES AGREEMENT BETWEEN OWNERS OF TUCSON APARTMENT COMPLEX AND SAME-SEX COUPLE RESOLVING CLAIMS OF HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has approved a Conciliation Agreement between the owners of an apartment complex in Tucson, AZ, the city of Tucson, and a same-sex African-American couple residing at the complex, resolving allegations that the owners and manager of the complex discriminated on the basis of sex and race when they failed to address the couple’s complaints of neighbor harassment, which included physical intimidation and disparaging statements being made about the couple’s race and sexual orientation. The owners also retaliated against the couple for complaining about the harassment. Read the Agreement.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race and sex, which includes discrimination because of sexual orientation. The Act also prohibits housing providers from failing to take prompt actions to correct and end discriminatory harassment by other tenants where the housing provider knew or should have known if the discrimination.
“No one should be subjected to malicious treatment, the threat of physical harm, or any type of discrimination in the place they call home,” said Demetria McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue working hard to ensure that housing providers meet their obligation to provide safe environments for their residents, regardless of their race or sexual orientation.”
The case came to HUD’s attention when an African-American same-sex couple filed a complaint alleging that a neighbor was harassing them, including throwing rocks and yelling racial and sexual slurs and insults. In addition, the couple claimed that the property manager retaliated against them for complaining about the harassment by transferring them to a unit that contained mold and had other deficiencies.
Under the Agreement, the housing providers will pay $15,000 to the couple, create a tracking system for all reports of harassment and respond in a timely manner, and provide fair housing training for their employees.
People 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 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Relay). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to hud.gov/fairhousing.