Indiana PHA to Pay $70K to Settle Fair Housing Lawsuit

The Justice Department recently announced that it has reached a settlement with the Housing Authority of the City of Anderson, Ind., which owns and operates 143 public housing units in the city, to resolve allegations that the housing authority discriminated against residents of these units on the basis of sex and disability.

The lawsuit alleged that the housing authority’s employees subjected female residents to unlawful sexual harassment. The housing authority was also accused of discriminating against residents with disabilities by repeatedly denying requests for reasonable accommodations, including requests to be transferred to first-floor units and requests for a designated accessible parking space.

Under the settlement, the housing authority agreed to pay $70,000 to compensate seven alleged victims of discrimination identified by the department. As part of the agreement, the housing authority also will implement nondiscrimination policies and procedures, provide fair housing training for its employees, refrain from engaging in any prohibited conduct in the future, and make periodic reports to the department confirming compliance.

“Sexual harassment of women and discrimination against persons with disabilities are unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Acting Assistant Attorney General John M. Gore of the Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “We will continue to vigorously combat such discrimination, including in public housing.”