Division of
Human Relations

Sexual Harassment in Housing is Against the Law

COVID-19 job losses and expiring eviction protections have left many people unable to pay rent or find affordable housing.   More people are now reporting they are victims of unlawful sexual harassment by a landlord or other housing provider. The Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are working together to protect victims of illegal sexual harassment in housing.

What is Sexual Harassment in Housing?

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.  It can happen to anyone, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  Sexual harassment in housing is a form of sex discrimination that is illegal under Fair Housing laws.


The following may be examples of sexual harassment in housing:

  • My landlord made a lot of comments about having sex with me. I ignored him. When I fell behind on rent, he said there was another way I could pay. I said no and he evicted me.
  • The housing authority inspector wouldn’t approve the apartment I wanted to rent with my voucher unless I performed a sexual act on him. I agreed in order to get my family off the street.
  • The maintenance man won’t fix anything in my apartment unless I have sex with him. I don’t know what I’m going to do about the broken heater when it gets even colder.
  • I went to look at a home to rent and the owner told me he would lower the rent if I had sex with him.
  • I wanted to buy a home. When I went to look at it, the loan officer grabbed my breasts. I said no and left immediately. I never heard about the home or the loan again.
  • The security guard in my apartment building has been talking about my body and sending me naked pictures. I asked him to stop. I came home one day and found him naked in my bed.
  • The owner of the home I rent makes comments about my body, clothes, and the sexual acts he wants me to perform on him.

Fighting Back  

The women in the video below fought back against sexual harassment at home:

Who Can Help?

If you have been a victim of illegal sexual harassment at home, click  here to file a complaint or contact us at 1-877-54HUMAN.

To learn more, click here for Housing and Urban Development or the Department of Justice  initiative to fight illegal sexual harassment in housing.