WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it is charging Carrol Goodsell and his company, Goodsell General Contracting L.L.C., of Spearfish, South Dakota, with violating the Fair Housing Act by sexually harassing a woman who was renting a single family home managed by him. Specifically, HUD’s charge alleges that Goodsell subjected the woman, who occupied the house with her two children and her boyfriend, to repeated inappropriate sexual comments and physical contact. Read HUD’s charge.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful for a housing manager or owner to sexually harass a tenant. This includes conditioning housing on the tenant’s acquiescence to sexual demands.
“No woman should have to endure unwanted sexual advances and degrading treatment in order to keep a roof over her head,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, “HUD is committed to protecting the housing rights of women and will continue to take action anytime those rights are violated.”
HUD’s charge alleges that Goodsell, who had been hired to make repairs to the house and was managing it for its owner, allegedly made numerous sexually explicit statements to the woman, including requesting favors. Goodsell also allegedly made inappropriate physical contact with the woman and on at least one occasion used his key to enter the rental home while the woman was inside, without the woman’s permission. The woman complained to the owner about Goodsell’s behavior, sought a court order and filed a police report, but the harassment continued, ultimately forcing the woman to move out.
A United States Administrative Law Judge will hear the charges unless any party to the charges elects to have the case heard in federal district court.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting 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 at www.hud.gov/fairhousing or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple and Android devices.