|519 East Front Street
Butte, Montana 59701
(406) 782-2573 / 1-800-929-2611
Montana Relay: 711 - Fax: (406) 782-2781
A Little History
In 1988 Montana Fair Housing, then known as Missoula Fair Housing Board, provided services only to Missoula County consumers and providers. Following the award of a federal grant in 1994, Missoula Fair Housing began serving all of Western Montana and became known as Western Montana Fair Housing. By the end of the two-year grant cycle in 1996, Western Montana Fair Housing was providing services across the state and again changed our name to Montana Fair Housing.
At the end of 2007, Montana Fair Housing felt the economic crunch like everyone else across the country. We decided to relocate our main office to the City of Butte. Operating out of Butte would give us a more centralized location in the state, and our operating costs could be cut to 1/3 of what we were paying in Missoula.
Montana Fair Housing is a full service, private, non-profit organization dedicated to the reduction and eradication of housing discrimination in our state.
Today Montana Fair Housing serves housing providers and consumers across the state, responding to inquiries and discriminatory housing complaints. We provide information and support to consumers and industry representatives, and investigate allegations of discrimination in housing. We also counsel victims of housing discrimination and assist them in filing federal and state administrative complaints.
state fair housing laws prohibit discriminatory practices in any industry-related
business or transaction that may impact 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.
Donations can be mailed to:
Montana Fair Housing * 519 East Front Street * Butte, MT 59701, or to donate right now, just click the button below:
MFH provides workshops across Montana. These workshops are approved for credits from the Montana Bar Association and the Board of Realty Regulation. Architects can also submit for credit by self reporting. These workshops provide an overview of federal and state Fair Housing Laws, and related accessibility regulations. To schedule a workshop or find out about upcoming events in your area, please contact Montana Fair Housing.
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Montana Fair Housing investigates allegations of discrimination in housing, counsels victims of discrimination, and facilitates both the state and federal complaint process. We also assist victims of housing discrimination, under specific circumstances, in securing the representation of counsel when the filing of a complaint in federal or district court is deemed the best .
Montana Fair Housing can provide mediation services, upon the request of a housing provider or consumer, of requests for reasonable accommodations and/or modifications, as well as other fair housing issues.
Information about discrimination in housing:
The federal Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Montana Human Rights Act prohibit discrimination in housing based on someone's protected class status.
The federally protected classes are:
The state protected classes are:
Both the federal and state fair housing acts prohibit retaliation against anyone who exerts their civil rights under the acts.
What Housing Is Covered?
The Fair Housing Acts cover most housing and all 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 (state law states 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, gender, 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, gender, 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 federal complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but you should contact Montana Fair Housing as soon as possible. You have six months to file a state complaint with the Montana Human Rights Bureau.
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 within 120 days, unless you or the respondent want the case to be heard in Federal District Court. Either way, there is no cost to you.
The Administrative Hearing:
If your case goes to an administrative hearing, an attorney will litigate the case on your behalf. You may intervene in the case and be represented by your own attorney if you wish. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will consider evidence from you and the respondent. If the ALJ decides that discrimination occurred, the respondent can be ordered:
Federal District Court:
If you or the respondent choose to have your case decided in Federal District Court, the Attorney General will file a suit and litigate it on your behalf. Like the ALJ, the District Court can order relief, including the award of actual damages, and/or attorney's fees and costs. In addition, the court can award punitive damages.
You may file suit, at your expense, in Federal District Court or State Court within two years of an alleged violation. If you cannot afford an attorney, the Court may appoint one for you. 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.
Links to additional sites on Fair Housing:
Contact Montana Fair Housing at firstname.lastname@example.org
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