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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

HUD files discrimination charge against MT apartment owner

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Thursday, March 7, 2024   

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has charged a Livingston landlord with discrimination after investigating a complaint filed by a former tenant.

State housing officials said the nature of the case is unusual and housing discrimination is on the rise. The HUD complaint charged Livingston-based Yellowstone Apartments and owner Dana Christian with discriminating against a longtime renter for retaliating after the resident's daughter, visiting from Russia, allegedly rebuffed Christian's advances.

Pam Bean, executive director of Montana Fair Housing, said the renter, a Russian immigrant and U.S. citizen, had never had a problem until she asked the property owner not to approach her daughter.

"She had lived there for four years without any notices or violations," Bean explained. "And all of a sudden received multiple violations in a few-week period, and ultimately moving to evict the complainant."

Bean noted the case will be assigned to federal court soon, and the U.S. Department of Justice will represent the renter. Christian did not respond to a request for comment.

While cases of housing discrimination are on the increase in Montana as the population grows and property owners are more selective in choosing tenants, Bean pointed out the Yellowstone case is unusual.

"The defendant seemed to just so openly retaliate against the household," Bean observed. "Because it was made clear any type of relationship outside of a business relationship was not something they were interested in."

The HUD charge cites a violation of the Fair Housing Act by "unlawfully coercing, intimidating, threatening, or interfering with" the tenant's right to complain about unwanted advances made toward her daughter.

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


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