Detroit, MI

U.S Attorney to raise university students' awareness of sexual harassment in housing

Wayne Dover

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DETROIT, MI - The U.S Attorney’s Office has recently started notifying local universities in the Eastern District of Michigan about the information on the Fair Housing Act, stressing sexual harassment in students’ housing. This aims to enlighten students, especially those living in off-campus accommodation for the first time, about their rights and protections under the federal Fair Housing Act.

Putting an end to illegal discrimination in housing is a major concern for the Department of Justice and the Civil Rights Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. It is part of the Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative.

Saima S. Mohsin, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, condemns sexual harassment and commits to taking actions to banish it.

“Sexual harassment in housing is illegal and unacceptable. Students have the right to feel safe and secure in their homes, free from unwanted sexual harassment. Our office will work aggressively to punish anyone who uses their authority over someone’s housing to sexually harass them,” said Mohsin.

Sexual harassment in housing is a form of sexual discrimination, which is barred by the Fair Housing Act. It explicitly covers sex or sexual acts in the home buying and rental process, and other forms of sexual conduct that negatively affect the tenants. It is also illegal for those in control of housing, be it landlords, rental managers, or other related workers, to perform such behaviors.

Other actions of sexual harassment toward tenants include commenting on their physical appearance, sending inappropriate texts, creeping on the tenant, entering the house without permission, touching against their will, and asking them for sexual favors in exchange for payment or reparation, and force them to move out if it’s not fulfilled.

If you have experienced such housing discrimination, reach out to the U. S. Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Hotline at 313.226.9151 or send an email to usamie.civilrights@usdoj.gov.

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