501 East Front Street
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Montana Fair Housing is a private, full service, non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of housing discrimination, and the advancement of civil rights.
Federal and state fair housing laws prohibit discriminatory practices in any industry-related business or transaction that may affect the ability of protected class members to secure housing and/or live in the housing of their choice. These laws address discriminatory practices in the rental, sales, insurance, advertising, and mortgage and lending industries, as well as transactions that include the actions of Home Owner Associations and the enforcement of covenants. There are exemptions provided and under certain circumstances some protected class members may be excluded from particular housing sites.
Montana Human Rights Act
MFH maintains, and will provide on request, a list of housing that should be accessible to persons using a wheelchair for mobility, and that should be available to all applicants on a non-discriminatory basis.
Montana Fair Housing can provide dispute resolution services upon request.
Information about discrimination in housing:
The federal Fair Housing Act as Amended in 1988 and the Montana Human Rights Act prohibit discrimination in housing based on someone's protected class status.
The federally protected classes are:
In addition to the federal protected classes, the Montana Human Rights Act includes additional protected classes:
Both the federal and state fair housing acts prohibit retaliation against anyone who pursues his/her rights under the acts, or assists others in doing so.
Local jurisdictions may have non-discrimination ordinances that provide additional protections.
What Housing Is Covered?
The federal and state nondiscrimination laws cover most transactions related to the selling, purchasing or rental of housing. In some circumstances, the Acts exempt owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units (in Montana no more than two units), single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
What Is Prohibited?
In the Sale and Rental of Housing: No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability, and in the state of Montana, additionally creed, age or marital status:
In Mortgage Lending: No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability, and in the state of Montana, additionally creed, age or marital status:
In addition it is illegal for anyone to:
If You Think Your Rights Have Been Violated:
Call Montana Fair Housing. You have one year after an alleged violation to file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but you should contact Montana Fair Housing as soon as possible. A complaint must be filed with the Montana Human Rights Bureau within 180 days of the alleged violation.
What to Tell Montana Fair Housing:
Montana Fair Housing can:
What Happens After A Complaint Investigation?
If, after investigating your complaint, HUD and/or HRB find reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred, you will be informed of your right to request your case be heard in an administrative hearing, unless you or the respondent want the case to be heard in court.
You may file suit, at your expense, in Federal District Court or State Court within two years of an alleged violation. You may bring your suit even after filing a complaint with HUD and/or HRB, if you have not signed a conciliation agreement and an Administrative Law Judge has not started a hearing. A court may award actual and punitive damages and attorney's fees and costs.
As a private, non-profit organization, any donation you make is tax deductible. Donations can be mailed to:
501 East Front Street * Suite 533 * Butte, Montana 59701
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