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Progressives call push to change Constitution "risky," Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire; new report compares ways NY can get cleaner air, help disadvantaged communities.

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House Speaker McCarthy aims to pin a shutdown on White House border policies, President Biden joins a Detroit auto workers picket line and the Supreme Court again tells Alabama to redraw Congressional districts for Black voters.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

55 Years Later, Fair Housing Act Could Go Further

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Monday, April 3, 2023   

April is national fair housing month and this marks 55 years since the federal Fair Housing Act was signed into law.

The Act gives people an avenue to address discrimination that prevents them from securing housing.

Pam Bean, executive director of Montana Fair Housing, said the law could go further and protect people regardless of where they get their income.

"For instance, folks that might be lower income but their sources of support," said Bean, "such as having food stamps - might be able to be blended in as income and allowing them, then, to qualify for the housing product they're looking at."

Montana has passed its own housing anti-discrimination rules with the Montana Human Rights Act. Bean said her organization has events planned throughout April to celebrate fair housing month.

Montana lawmakers have passed bills this session that target members of the LGBTQ community, including legislation that bans gender affirming care for youth.

Bean said it's disappointing.

"It's very hard for me to wake up every day, sometimes," said Bean, "and think that a state that I love this much and a country I love is putting so much effort into minimizing the rights of people."

Another measure making its way through the Capitol would define sex in a way that prohibits people from bringing claims of sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination in areas such employment and housing.

But Bean noted that it's still illegal to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity when it comes to housing.

"Even though victims of discrimination that are LGBTQ+ may not have state protections," said Bean, "they still have federal protections and complaints could still be filed at that level."



Disclosure: Montana Fair Housing contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Disabilities, Housing/Homelessness, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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