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City of Anderson Housing Authority agrees to $70K settlement in discrimination lawsuit

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WASHINGTON– The U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday it reached a settlement with the City of Anderson Housing Authority to resolve a lawsuit which said the Housing Authority discriminated against residents on the basis of sex and disability.

The Housing Authority owns and operates 143 public housing units in the city. According to the lawsuit, employees subjected female tenants to sexual harassment and discriminated against tenants with disabilities by denying requests for accommodations, including requests to be transferred to first floor units and requests for a designated accessible parking space.

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

Under the agreement, the Housing Authority will pay $70,000 to seven victims of the discrimination. They will also 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.

“Enjoying a safe place to live, free of discrimination and sexual harassment is a fundamental right we all are entitled to,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Josh Minkler. “My office remains committed to aggressively pursuing the enforcement of civil rights and fighting discrimination in Indiana.”