Feds form task force to combat sexual harassment in housing

Feds form task force to combat sexual harassment in housing
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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 SessionsSarah Sanders to leave White House Sarah Sanders to leave White House Barr compares his return to DOJ to D-Day invasion MORE and HUD Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonMoulton confirms he'll miss first Democratic debate Moulton confirms he'll miss first Democratic debate Lawmakers battle over HUD protections for homeless transgender people 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.

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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 TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants 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.