Sexual Harassment Complaint Filed Against NJ Property Owner

Department of Justice Files Sexual Harassment Complaint Against Owner of Rental Property in New Jersey | August 5, 2020

“No one should ever be forced to provide sexual favors, or otherwise endure sexual harassment, as a condition to keep or obtain housing,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said. “Sexual harassment in housing is illegal under the Fair Housing Act, and we will vigorously enforce this federal law to end this depraved type of behavior.”

“The Fair Housing Act protects the right of all persons in our nation to rent a home without suffering sexual exploitation at the hands of abusive landlords. Demanding sexual favors from tenants, especially those who are financially vulnerable, is illegal,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Fair Housing Act protects tenants from sexual harassment and retaliation by their landlords, and the Justice Department will hold accountable those who engage in such cruel, depraved, and illegal conduct and will work tirelessly to obtain relief for their victims.”

Read the full article here.

New HUD Ruling Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

The Final Rule took effect in 2012 following publication in the Federal Register

“Proud that HUD has been a leader in” the fight, former HUD Secretary Donovan announced publication of a final rule “to ensure that HUD’s core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The rule, which took effect 30 days after publication, requires owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing, or housing whose financing is insured by HUD, to make housing available without regard to the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant for, or occupant of, the dwelling, whether renter- or owner;

  • Prohibits lenders from using sexual orientation or gender identity as a basis to determine a borrower’s eligibility for FHA-insured mortgage financing;
  • Clarifies that all otherwise eligible families, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, will have the opportunity to participate in HUD programs; and
  • Prohibits owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing or housing insured by HUD from asking about an applicant or occupant’s sexual orientation and gender identity for the purpose of determining eligibility or otherwise making housing available.

The rule insures “that HUD’s housing programs are open, not to some, not to most, but to all,” the Secretary said.

See the final rule here.

See the Presidential Memorandum here

See a 2013 Estimate of Discrimination AgainstSame-Sex Couples here

Note: This is not a change to the federal Fair Housing Act; with this notice, all HUD-funded ‘core’ programs will extend protections to LGBT households. Although the state of Idaho does not recognize familial status, sexual orientation or gender identity in its fair housing laws, the federal Fair Housing Act trumps state law when it comes to familial status.

Update 10.15.2014: The Ninth Circuit Court and Supreme Court paved the way for same-sex marriage to take place in Idaho and several other states in the fall of 2014. Depending on where one lives in Idaho, there are many different levels of protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. For an overview of laws and ordinances, see Idaho’s Unfinished Quilt of LGBT Protections in The Boise Weekly. And congratulations to all the newlyweds in Idaho!