What is Sexual Harassment in Housing?
Harassment in housing threatens a resident’s safety and privacy in her own home. In HUD’s experience enforcing the Fair Housing Act, low-income women—often racial and ethnic minorities and persons with disabilities—may be particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment in housing.
Quid Pro Quo Harassment involves subjecting a person to an unwelcome request or demand and making submission to the request or demand a condition related to the person’s housing. Quid Pro Quo Elements:
- Subjected to demand for sexual favor
- Experienced the demand because of sex
- Housing benefits conditioned on performance
- Demand for sex in lieu of rent
- Repairs done only if she’ll pose for porno
- Requiring she go on a date to get her lease renewed
- Demand for sex favors to access an emergency shelter, etc.
Hostile Environment Harassment involves subjecting a person to unwelcome conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive such that it interferes with or deprives the person of the right to use and enjoy the housing. Hostile Environment Elements:
- Subjected to verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature
- Subjected to because of sex
- Conduct unwelcome and
- Sufficiently severe and pervasive
- Unwanted touching, sexual advances, lewd sexual jokes,
- Showing porno, degrading sexual comments,
- Hidden video cameras, etc.