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Montana Fair Housing's mission is to promote and ensure non-discrimination in Montana through outreach, education, dispute resolution, and enforcement.

Federal and state fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in housing. These laws apply to public and private housing, and cover practices in the advertising, rental, sales, lending, appraisal and insurance industries, including the actions of Home Owner Associations and the enforcement of covenants. Federal and State nondiscrimination laws address practices that limit the availability of housing and housing related services BECAUSE OF membership in protected classes. Exemptions are incuded in these laws and some households may be excluded at particular housing sites.

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 court is deemed the best option.

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.

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:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (includes prohibitions against sexual harassment, protects domestic violence survivors and households based on gender identity and sexual orientation).
  • Familial Status (including children under the age of 18 in the household and pregnancy)
  • Disability (includes requests for accommodations and modifications, and requirements for the design and construction of multi-family housing)

In addition to the federally protected classes, the Montana Human Rights Act includes:

  • Creed
  • Marital Status
  • Age

Both the federal and state fair housing acts prohibit retaliation against anyone who pursues their rights under the acts, or assists others in doing so.

Local jurisdictions may have non-discrimination ordinances that provide additional protections.

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.

You may file suit, at your expense, in Federal District 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.

Comments or questions about this website should be directed to Montana Fair Housing.