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Founded in 2009, HELP employs a diverse group of professionals to carry out its mission of addressing discrimination in housing. We have obtained numerous settlements and received nationwide recognition for its leadership in housing advocacy.
Mary Prem, Executive Director

Mary Prem received her Bachelor of Art degree in Business and Education from San Jose State University, and her Master of Non-Profit Administration degree from the University of San Francisco.

She is a former Director of Fair Housing of one of the nation's largest fair housing agencies where she led a team of counselors in the investigation and prosecution of discrimination claims. She has extensive experience mediating fair housing claims before the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ms. Prem has conducted hundreds of trainings to individuals, property managers, real estate agents and organizations throughout the state. In addition, Ms. Prem speaks regularly about fair housing issues at conferences throughout the nation, and recently testified before the National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

Prior to her fair housing work, Ms. Prem worked in the non-profit arena for fifteen years, where she served as Program Director for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. Additionally, she has served on numerous boards and chaired multiple special events to raise funds for charitable causes.

Matt Luton, Director of Legal Services

Matt Luton received his Bachelor of Art degree in American Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz. After completing his undergraduate education, Mr. Luton worked exclusively in the public service sector by advocating for and providing direct services to persons with disabilities and members of San Francisco’s queer community.

In 2008, Mr. Luton received his Juris Doctorate from the New College of California School of Law. During law school, Mr. Luton was active in the prison-reform movement and published an article in the New York City Law Review entitled “Relocation of Prisoner Identity�, which considered alternative modes of advocacy for people living in prisons.

More recently, Mr. Luton served as a senior fair housing advocate for victims of housing discrimination. In this capacity he provided full representation, including the preparation of legal briefs and strategies for successfully obtaining redress in administrative forums for victims of discriminatory housing practice.

In July 2009, he represented a family who had been denied housing because of their disabled son’s service dog. A complaint was filed at the United States’ Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which eventually settled for $108,000 in the mediation process. This was a particularly noteworthy case since HUD has recorded it as the largest settlement of its kind.