While COVID has certainly slowed down a lot of government activity, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) continues its work regarding Fair Housing Act enforcement.
For those that may be interested in how local and state agencies go about investigating Fair Housing claims, on July 9, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. HUD is sponsoring a forum for their enforcement partners entitled “Investigating Complaints of Sexual Harassment in Housing Situations.” According to HUD, “topics to be covered will include the Fair Housing Act, relevant case law, prompt judicial relief, and the emotional support and care of victims of sexual harassment. Also highlighted will be sexual harassment cases in which HUD, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the National Fair Housing Alliance have collaborated.”
For more information on this and other upcoming forums, go to: www.hudexchange.info/programs/fair-housing/nfhta/.
Also available from is a web-based, self-paced training that may be viewed on HUD’s “Preventing Sexual and Other Discriminatory Harassment in Housing” webpage.
HUD has promised a future forum specifically for landlords, but it has not yet been scheduled. And ManufacturedHomes.com will be announcing Fair Housing webinars in the near future.
Justice Department – Two years ago, the Department of Justice (DOJ) agreed to partner with HUD in its investigation of Fair Housing claims. Recently, Attorney General William Barr promised to step up funding for certain classes of sexual harassment investigations.
“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.” Read the Press Release from HUD.
Google – HUD announced it has assisted Google in improving its online advertising policies in order to better align them with requirements of the Fair Housing Act. While the release did not mention what changes were made, HUD did indicate the revisions might be relating to who sees housing-related ads on Google.
“Advertising practices may continue to evolve but our Nation’s laws are unwavering,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “It is one of our key duties at HUD to enforce the Fair Housing Act and ensure that all Americans have housing choice. Improvements are underway in the online advertising space, and HUD encourages platforms, such as Google, to take these types of steps to eliminate unlawful discrimination in advertising and seek to ensure compliance with our Nation’s Fair Housing laws.” Read the Press Release for more information.
New York – HUD approved a conciliation agreement between the owner of several apartment complexes in Farmingdale, New York, resolving allegations that the owner discriminated against applicants based on their race. Specifically, HUD alleged that the employees treated white testers posing as prospective tenants more favorably than black testers posing as prospective tenants. HUD’s Press Release provides more details.
Pennsylvania – Another recent conciliation agreement involved disability discrimination. In this case it was alleged that an apartment owner refused to grant its residents’ request for a reserved parking space or to allow them to move to a first-floor unit, and retaliated against them for making the requests. HUD’s Press Release can be found here.