NJ Testing Sight for Launch of Initiative Pilot Program to Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing
On April 12, 2018, the Department of Justice recognized the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the nationwide roll out of an initiative aimed at increasing awareness and reporting of sexual harassment in housing.
The announcement includes an interagency task force between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Justice Department to combat sexual harassment in housing, an outreach toolkit, and a public awareness campaign. This three-pronged approach will strengthen the Department’s efforts to combat sexual harassment in housing.
“Sexual harassment in housing is illegal, immoral, and unacceptable,” said Attorney General Sessions.
“It is all too common today, as too many landlords, managers, and their employees attempt to prey on vulnerable women. We will not hesitate to pursue these predators and enforce the law. In October, I ordered a new initiative to bring more of these cases, and we have already won relief for 15 victims. Today we announce three new steps to make the initiative more effective and to win more cases. I want to thank the dedicated and committed professionals in our Civil Rights Division and our partners in the Department of Housing and Urban Development for their hard work in this effort. We will continue to aggressively pursue harassers, because everyone has a right to be safe in their home.”
“All discrimination stains the very fabric of our nation, but HUD is especially focused on protecting the right of everyone to feel safe and secure in their homes, free from unwanted sexual harassment,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “No person should have to tolerate unwanted sexual advances in order to keep a roof over his or her head. Part of our mission at HUD is to provide safe housing and we will remain diligent in this mission to protect those we serve. I look forward to working with Attorney General Sessions and the Department of Justice as part of this task force to bring an end to this type of discrimination.”
In October 2017, the Justice Department announced an initiative to combat sexual harassment in housing and launched pilot programs in D.C. and the Western District of Virginia. New Jersey was one of the other jurisdictions where the certain aspects of the initiative was tested.