A Detroit landlord will pay $190,000 to settle sexual harassment claims against women

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. — A suburban Detroit landlord has agreed to pay $190,000 to settle sexual harassment allegations against women who lived in his buildings or potential tenants, the federal government said Monday.

The U.S. Department of Justice intervened on behalf of the women and filed a lawsuit a year ago.

“No one should be denied the opportunity to live in safe and affordable housing because of their refusal to submit to the sexual demands of a landlord,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division.

Mohamad Hussein denied the allegations but agreed to a settlement to avoid the inconvenience and expense of lawsuits, according to an agreement filed in federal court in Detroit.

A message seeking comment was left with Hussein’s attorney.

Hussein, who owns properties in Dearborn Heights, was accused of lowering rent or making other financial concessions in exchange for sex acts or sexually explicit images, the government said.

He will pay $17,500 each to six women and $40,000 each to two more women, in addition to $5,000 to the government, the agreement said.

Hussein will also hire a manager to oversee his properties, with government approval.

The Justice Department said it has filed 39 lawsuits alleging sexual harassment in the U.S. housing industry since 2017 and has recovered more than $12 million for victims.