Department of Commerce Promotes ‘Fair Housing Month’
The government agency in charge of helping disabled and disadvantaged people in Montana find decent housing is actually the Department of Commerce.
The Commerce Department's Administrator of the Housing Division is Bruce Brensdal, who helps over 9,000 individuals and families across the state.
"As a steward of public funds and being able to assist nearly 900 individuals and families across the state, it's only right that we recognize Fair Housing Month. It's all about providing a reasonable and fair opportunity for everyone to have access to affordable housing," Brensdal said. "We offer a variety of programs for rental assistance and through out section eight division that provides rental assistance, so if a tenant has one of our vouchers, they'll get a little bit of help to pay the difference from what they can afford."
Brensdal said the need for housing assistance constantly outstrips the supply.
"Our housing choice assistance program serves over 3,700 households across the state, but we also have a waiting list of about that same number of people," he said. "On the development side, this year we had 20 applications for housing credits, and we were only able to fund five. There's a great need out there across the entire state from the bigger cities to the smaller communities to the Indian reservations. Having enough resources to get it all done is sometimes difficult."
The Housing Division receives no money from the state, but is funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and housing credits come through the Internal Revenue Service.
Get more details on Fair Housing Month here.