Cheering young women.

April is Fair Housing Month - logo


 

In April, we come together to celebrate the anniversary of the passing of the Fair Housing Act and recommit to that goal which inspired us in the aftermath of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination in 1968: to eliminate housing discrimination and create equal opportunity in every community.

In Montana, fair housing means communities are open and welcoming, free from housing discrimination and hostility. It means that each one of us, regardless of race, color, religion, creed, age, national origin, sex, familial status, and mental or physical disability, has access to neighborhoods of opportunity, where our children can attend quality schools, our environment allows us to be healthy, and economic opportunities and self-sufficiency can grow.


 

Fair Housing Month Poster: FAIR HOUSING IS YOUR RIGHT, USE IT Fair Housing Month Poster image:  A ZIP CODE SHOULD NOT DETERMINE A CHILD'S FUTURE

 


 

What Fair Housing means to two Montanans:

 

Theresa G. says she’s grateful for an accessible apartment close to the grocery store, it means she can continue her independent life.

“They have roll-in showers, the bathroom is accessible the kitchen is accessible, everything is down where a wheeled person can reach things,” Theresa G. says. “There’s more buildings like this needed.” 

 


 

 

For Nate H., affordable housing means he’s been able to keep a steady job.

“I don’t have the fear of homelessness,” he says. “It gives me the peace of mind to focus on the recovery from my disability. When you don’t have housing, it just weighs heavily on your mind.” 

 


 

Fair Housing Information

In the United States, the fair housing (also open housing) policies date largely from the 1960s. Originally, the terms fair housing and open housing came from a political movement of the time to outlaw discrimination in the rental or purchase of homes and a broad range of other housing-related transactions, such as advertising, mortgage lending, homeowner's insurance and zoning. Later, the same language was used in laws. At the urging of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, Congress passed the federal Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) in April 1968, only one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The primary purpose of the Fair Housing Law of 1968 is to protect the dwelling seeker from seller or landlord discrimination. It does this by protecting the buyer's or renter's right to discriminate. The goal is a unitary housing market in which a person's background (as opposed to financial resources) does not arbitrarily restrict access. Calls for open housing were issued early in the twentieth century, but it was not until after World War II that concerted efforts to achieve it were undertaken.

When the Fair Housing Act was first enacted, it prohibited discrimination only on the basis of race, color, religion and national origin. In 1974, sex was added to the list of protected classes, and in 1988, disability and familial status (the presence or anticipated presence of children under 18 in a household) were added (further codified in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990). In certain circumstances, the law allows limited exceptions for discrimination based on sex, religion, or familial status.



 


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HOUSING DIVISION | MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
301 S. PARK AVE, STE 240 | PO BOX 200528 | HELENA, MT 59620-0528 | P: (406) 841-2840 | F: (406) 841-2841 | TDD: (406) 841-2702 | TOLL FREE: (800) 761-6264