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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

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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