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Feds crack down on sexual harassment in housing during COVID-19

department of justice doj

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The U.S. Attorney's Office wants to hear from anyone who's experienced or witnessed sexual harassment by a landlord, property manager, maintenance worker, or anyone with control over housing.

The pandemic has caused many people to lose their jobs which impacts their ability to pay rent. Some landlords and property managers may try to take advantage of that housing insecurity by sexually harassing tenants.

 Sexual harassment in housing includes demands for sex or sexual acts in order to buy, rent or continue renting a home. It also includes other unwelcome sexual conduct that makes it hard to keep living in or feel comfortable in your home.

“Sexual harassment in housing is reprehensible and contrary to the rule of law,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna . “My office works closely with state and local partners to identify incidents of sexual harassment in housing and will use all available enforcement tools against perpetrators.”

The U.S. Attorney's Office has filed lawsuits across the country alleging a pattern or practice of sexual harassment in housing. In January, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit alleging that the property manager of two apartment buildings in Los Angeles violated the Fair Housing Act by sexually harassing female tenants for more than a decade. The lawsuit alleged that the owners of the property are also responsible for his conduct.

If you have information about misconduct contact the Civil Rights Division by calling 844-380-6178 or emailing fairhousing@usdoj.gov.

Crime / Health / Safe at Home / San Luis Obispo County / Santa Barbara- S County / Santa Maria - North County / Ventura County

C.J. Ward

C.J. Ward is the evening anchor for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and the station’s lead investigative reporter.

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