Bullying and Harassment
Though many national groups have long advocated for stronger HUD guidelines on bullying and harassment, there are no formal regulation in place regarding bullying and harassment in HUD properties. Nevertheless, HUD and it’s stakeholders are still held to the standards outlined in the Fair Housing Act. This means that HUD landlords and other stakeholders are prohibited from harassment in housing or housing-related transactions on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status.
On October 21, 2015, HUD announced that it is issuing a proposed rule that would formalize standards for victims of harassment in housing to bring claims under the Fair Housing Act, which many national groups have strongly supported, barring some minor recommendations. The proposed rule, “Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices under the Fair Housing Act,” was published in the Federal Registry for comment. According to HUD, it’s proposed new rule will:
- “Formalize uniform standards for evaluating claims of hostile environment and quid pro quo harassment in the housing context:
- 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 the right to use and enjoy the 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.
- Clarify when housing providers and other covered entities or individuals may be held directly or vicariously liable under the Fair Housing Act for illegal harassment or other discriminatory housing practices.”
If you believe you have been the victim of harassment or discrimination, you can contact HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).
Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing, or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application.
Locally, MAHT has been working to get an anti-bullying bill passed. H.1407/S.900 An Act to Prevent and Respond to Bullying of Elderly and Disabled Residents would require property owners/managers to develop a building-specific plan to prevent and remedy bullying; train residents and building staff; and address victims’ rights to seek relief and enforcement. Fact sheet is here. Please contact the MAHT office to get involved!
Mold and Pests
HUD’s aging housing stock for senior and handicapped tenants presents many challenges to tenants’ health and safety. Toxic indoor air, water leaks and mold, drafty windows, poor ventilation and aging carpets are widespread.
What's Working for Bedbug Control in Multifamily Housing by The National Center for Healthly Housing
HUD Notice H 2012-5: Guideline on addressing infestations insured and assisted multifamily housing