U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson recently 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.”
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.
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. This year's theme serves as a public awareness campaign that urges the persons who experience sexual harassment where they live to "call HUD."
"While any form of discrimination stains the very fabric of our nation, HUD is especially focused on protecting the right of individuals to feel safe and secure in their homes, free from sexual harassment or unwanted sexual advances," said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. "This theme, which is a call to action, is an appeal to those who experience discrimination, particularly survivors of sexual harassment, to contact HUD for help. Much work remains to be done, but HUD’s efforts in this area are already producing real results for real people."
"Complaints we receive demonstrate the importance of continuing our commitment to shining a light on this form of discrimination and letting everyone know that HUD is here to help,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Even as the nation is dealing with a health crisis unlike any we have experienced in recent history, HUD is open for business and working to ensure that no one has to tolerate harassment or unwanted sexual advances in the place they call home."