The Housing Rights Center (HRC) is proud to announce its new Sexual Harassment in Housing page, which provides vital information about discrimination based on sex under the federal Fair Housing Act. The webpage will serve as a dedicated digital space for survivors and agencies seeking assistance and information on sexual harassment in housing.
In October 2020, the Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded HRC a one-year grant of $125,000 to support its education and outreach effort directly focused on sexual harassment as well as disability in housing. This webpage builds on top of the past year’s campaign to provide fair housing and outreach on sexual harassment and assault and other critical issues facing tenants and landlords during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, HRC and the other National Fair Housing Alliance member organizations collectively reported a 13% increase in sexual harassment complaints. In a study of 100 low-income women living in public housing or participating in the Section 8 voucher program, 16% had experienced sexual harassment or other problematic sexual behavior from a landlord. Tenants who are unaware of the protections afforded to them under the Fair Housing Act find themselves forced out of their homes or subjected to constant sexual harassment by their housing providers.
“For most tenants dealing with the economic repercussions of the pandemic has been overwhelming enough. When some families are barely making enough to afford rent, utilities, childcare, medical bills, and more, the last thing they want to deal with is being made to feel unsafe in their homes due to sexual harassment from their housing provider,” said EOI Project Manager Susan Lin. “By launching our webpage on top of our sexual harassment in housing workshops, we are offering tenants the tools to assert their rights by providing a basic understanding of the protections and resources at their disposal.”
The page features the two types of sexual harassment in housing: (1) quid pro quo sexual harassment and (2) hostile environment sexual harassment, different factors to consider including landlord liability, harassment between tenants, and gender non-specific harassment, and how to report it. Community organizations looking to train their staff on these issues are encouraged to book a Sexual Harassment in Housing Workshop at https://www.housingrightscenter.org/sexual-harassment.
For more information on the Housing Rights Center and its free services, please visit www.housingrightscenter.org or call 1-800-477-5977 (TTY: 213-201-0867). Follow HRC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on housing news.
The Housing Rights Center is a non-profit organization established in 1968 to actively support and promote equal opportunity and freedom of residence to all persons without regard to their race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, familial status, disability, marital status, ancestry, age, source of income, or other characteristics protected by law. HRC engages in activities including outreach and education, testing and investigation, and legal advocacy to identify barriers to fair housing and to counteract and eliminate discriminatory housing practices in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
This material is based on work supported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under FHIP Grant FEOI #20014. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of HUD.