WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it will host two virtual training forums for the HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program and Fair Housing Assistance Program agencies. These forums will focus on effective strategies to address sexual harassment in housing and will be conducted through HUD’s National Fair Housing Training Academy (NFHTA).
The first forum, titled “A Conversation on Sexual Harassment in Housing Situations” will be conducted on June 25, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and cover what constitutes sexual harassment under the Fair Housing Act, who is most vulnerable, investigation techniques, case highlights and outcomes, and resources for education and outreach activities.
The second forum, titled “Investigating Complaints of Sexual Harassment in Housing Situations,” will be held July 9, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and cover topics related to 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 their efforts on.
“Addressing sexual harassment in housing takes more than timely and effective enforcement actions, it requires a commitment to meeting the ever-changing training needs of our state and local fair housing partners,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “The forums that we host will do much to prepare today’s practitioners to take on tomorrow’s fair housing challenges, even as we continue to operate in a virtual environment.”
In addition to the sexual harassment training being presented, the forums will highlight Attorney General William Barr’s and Secretary Ben Carson’s priority to fully investigate and prevent sexual harassment in housing.
In April 2018, HUD and the Justice Department launched a nationwide initiative intended to increase the public’s awareness of sexual harassment in housing. The initiative includes an interagency task force between the two agencies, an outreach toolkit, and a public awareness campaign that makes it easier for victims of harassment to find resources and to report harassment.
HUD is also hosting a series of training sessions to help landlords, property managers, and maintenance workers in HUD-assisted housing to better understand the Fair Housing Act and what it prohibits when it comes to harassment.
For up-to-date information about the upcoming sexual harassment training forums, go to: www.hudexchange.info/programs/fair-housing/nfhta/.
People who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).