Feds form task force to combat sexual harassment in housing

Feds form task force to combat sexual harassment in housing
© Getty Images

The Department of Justice and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are joining forces to form an interagency task force aimed at combatting sexual harassment in housing across the U.S.

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein warns of growing cyber threat from Russia, other foreign actors Key GOP lawmaker throws cold water on Rosenstein impeachment With new immigration policy, Trump administration gutting the right to asylum MORE and HUD Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonTrump walks a tightrope with comments on NATO Progressive politics have done nothing to help black America Is civility in America really dead? MORE appeared together at an event Wednesday marking the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, which seeks to put an end to housing discrimination on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion or disability.

ADVERTISEMENT

The task force is designed to be an extension of the Justice Department's pilot program to combat sexual harassment in housing headed by the department's Civil Rights Division.

The effort is intended to shield women from sexual harassment by landlords, maintenance workers, security guards and other workers at rental properties.

The pilot program was established to identify potential barriers to reporting sexual harassment to authorities while working with local law enforcement, public housing authorities and legal service providers.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE's Justice Department has settled or filed nine sexual harassment cases, including two cases last month. 

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against rental property owners in Cincinnati last month after tenants allegedly faced "sexual harassment, coercion, intimidation, and threats in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act," according to the Justice Department.

The department settled with two St. Louis landlords earlier this month after a lawsuit was filed claiming the two landlords violated the Fair Housing Act after 15 of their female tenants faced sexual harassment spanning 20 years.