August 5, 2020

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Sexual Harassment As A Violation Of The Fair Housing Act

Sexual Harassment as a Violation of the Fair Housing Act

The month of April is Fair Housing Month in America, and while at the time of this writing that month has just ended there are efforts made around the clock to raise awareness of Fair Housing laws.

HUD has issued a press release about one of those ongoing efforts; a joint-agency fight to stop sexual harassment in the housing process.

The U.S. Attorney General and the HUD Secretary have partnered to remind landlords and renters that sexual harassment at any stage of the housing process is illegal and a violation of federal Fair Housing Act regulations.

“The Fair Housing Act embodies the spirit of this great Nation where everyone is entitled to equal opportunity and respect,” said the HUD Secretary, who was quoted in the press release.

He adds, “No one should have to endure sexual harassment and degrading treatment, especially to keep a roof over their heads.”

The joint HUD / Department of Justice sexual harassment initiative was originally launched two years ago, and since that time there have been more than 500 sexual harassment complaints to the agency about sexual harassment in the housing process.

The theme for the April 2020 Fair Housing Month observation was titled Call HUD: Because Sexual Harassment in Housing is Illegal, and while the observation itself has ended, the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity still offers training for the public on sexual harassment in housing in the weeks to come.  

According to the press release, such training “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.”

You can attend this online training via the “Preventing Sexual and Other Discriminatory Harassment in Housing” webpage on HUD Exchange.

Have you experienced housing discrimination, including (but not limited to) sexual harassment? Contact the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 or visiting How to File a Complaint at the HUD official site. Complaints may also be filed via the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

Remember, in many cases the victim filing a report about the incident may be the only thing that prevents future harassment or other violations of Fair Housing laws.

HUD investigates violations, but it cannot investigate what is not reported directly to them. Contact HUD immediately if you suspect your Fair Housing Act rights have been violated.

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