HUD: Landlord Retaliated Against Tenants Who Complained of Harassment

HUD has accused an Oklahoma landlord and its property manager of discriminating against tenants by failing to adequately respond to known serious racial harassment and by retaliating by trying to terminate their tenancy.

The tenants, a mother and her daughter, filed a complaint with HUD alleging that they had been discriminated against by the landlord and property manager due to the race of the daughter’s boyfriend. When the daughter, who’s white, was seen dating a man who’s Black, the tenants became the target of severe and pervasive racial harassment from other tenants at the property. The mother and daughter were repeatedly called racial slurs by other tenants and were threatened with racially motivated violence.

Landlord's response. HUD’s investigation found that the mother and daughter repeatedly notified the landlord and manager of the racial harassment, but the landlord and manager didn’t adequately address it. Instead, they sent both the mother and the harassers a notice to vacate. HUD’s investigation thus revealed that the mother was also unlawfully retaliated against for her efforts to have the harassment addressed.

What's next. HUD will seek remedial relief for the mother and daughter and seek public interest relief through changes to the landlord’s policies and procedures through a Voluntary Compliance Agreement/Conciliation Agreement in an effort to make the tenants whole and eliminate discriminatory practices [HUD Case Number 06-17-8923-6].

“Bigotry and racial discrimination have no place in housing. It is inexcusable for a HUD-funded housing provider to discriminate and retaliate against its tenants while denying them the ability to peacefully enjoy their housing,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.