Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) October-November, 2004 / Vol.10, No. 4

FAIR HOUSING NEWS

A newsletter about fair housing, community development, andneighborhood quality of life


GREETINGS!

Contact us for a free copy of any mentioned article or a free subscription to Fair Housing News: 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 / mail@gbchrb.org. More info/resources: http://www.gbchrb.org.

IN THE NATIONAL NEWS

Study Finds Racial Profiling Increasing. The report by Amnesty International USA found 32 million people reported being racially profiled. The report identified 87 million people at "high risk of being victimized" because they belong to a racial, ethnic, or religious group often targeted by the police for unlawful stops. Profiling has especially targeted citizens and visitors of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent, as well as those who seem to be members of the Muslim and Sikh faiths. (Washington Post, September 14, 2004:A4)

Survey Finds 1 in 4 Americans Have Anti-Muslim Views. The survey sponsored by the prominent Washington-based Council on American- Islamic Relations and conducted by an independent research corporation found over 25% agreed with stereotypes like "Muslims teach their children to hate" and "Muslims value life less than other people." Only 2% had favorable attitudes towards Muslims, with 32% negative. Those most negative were politically-conservative less-educated white males. The survey did find that the presence of Muslim friends and colleagues led to more positive attitudes, and African-Americans were more favorable than whites. (http://www.cair-net.org; Baltimore Sun, Oct. 5, 2004:5A)

Is Where We Live More Important Than How? Several studies reported in HUD's Research Works (August, 2004) agree with a study by University of Michigan epidemiologist Ana Diez-Roux showing that residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods were more likely to have heart attacks than those living in middle class areas, considering income differences. Such studies underline the importance of programs that move the poor to more positive environments such as HUD's Moving To Opportunity Program. (Research Works, August, 2004:2,6)

 

IN THE LOCAL NEWS

Five Advertising Complaints Against Senior Housing Providers Filed by Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. After conducting an extensive study, BNI filed complaints against five senior housing providers located in Baltimore, Carroll, and Harford Counties, as well as in Delaware and Pennsylvania, with the Maryland Commission on Human Relations. The study found only 85% of print advertising featured the legally required HUD EGO logo/slogan and 45% improperly used all-white models - despite complaints being previously filed. (July 27, 2004, Press Release from Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.)

Affordable, "Work Force" Housing Needed in Baltimore Area. Speakers at a one-day Baltimore housing conference said more and more police officers, firefighters, and other public employees are priced out of the housing market in the jurisdictions that serve. A Ryland Homes president said the Baltimore area is short 10,000 homes for its work force, and planners think this could be over 78,000 by 2025. The president of the Home Builders Association of Maryland added, "We're in the midst of a crisis." A Baltimore Sun editorial (September 26, 2004:4F) pointed out that over 50% of Anne Arundel firefighters now are forced to live outside the County, including some in Cumberland. The same editorial expresses hope that the Governor's Priority Places program for redeveloping older communities will succeed. (Baltimore Sun, September 22, 2004:4B)

To Settle Lawsuit, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City Agrees to Spend $50 Million on Housing for People with Disabilities. HABC also agreed to spend $1 Million to compensate people who have been discriminated against by the Authority. The settlement concludes a lawsuit by the Maryland Disability Law Center on behalf of several disabled City residents, as well as a federal suit by the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging HABC denied housing to disabled people and had insufficient accessible housing. The settlement is the first time DOJ successfully sued a housing discrimination case utilizing the stringent Rehabilitation Act of 1973. During the signing of the consent decree, the Center's legal director praised HABC Commissioner Paul Graziano for "turning around the legacy of discrimination that he inherited" in agreeing to the settlement. (Baltimore Sun, September 30, 2004:1B)

A NOVEMBER CALENDAR

The Governor's Second Annual Housing Conference Will Be Held on November 16, 2004, at the Baltimore Convention Center. The Conference features remarks by Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., HUD Secretary Alfonso R. Jackson, Victor Hoskins (Secretary of the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development), and JoAnne Poole (Maryland Association of Realtors). Workshops include Workforce/Affordable Housing Challenge, Alternative Housing for Special Populations, Rehabilitation Tax Credits, and several others. Registration is $75, including breakfast, luncheon, and materials; the Opening Session is $12.50, & Awards Luncheon $26. Register: fax 410-841-1950 or www.mdrealtor.org. Information: call 800-638-6425 or http://www.dhcd.state.md.us/housingconf/index.cfm.

"Anti-Racism for White Folks" Workshop Will Be Held on November 5-7, 2004. Presented by Goucher College Theater Department and Fusion Partnerships, the workshop will help white folks more effectively reduce racism. The workshop's facilitator is Marc Weinblatt, founder/director of the Mandala Center for Awareness, Transformation, & Action. Cost is $200, but with extensive subsidies available. Registration and information: telephone 410-889-4700 or send email to lbezold@fusiongroup.org.

CPHA Will Hold Its 63rd Annual Meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on November 17th at the Streetcar Museum, 1905 Falls Road, Baltimore. The meeting's focus is "Communities and Transit: Reviving a Great Baltimore Tradition," highlighting the Baltimore Regional Rail Plan which will be constructed by 2010. Registration/info: 410-539-1369 or www.cphabaltimore.org.

The Community Development Resource Center at Morgan State University Will Hold a "Programs to Promote Homeownership" Workshop on November 20, 2004 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Panelists include James Kelly of HUD, Reginald Stanfield on the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development, and Kenneth Strong of the Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development. The workshop will provide info about available federal, state, and local programs, as well as services concerning home ownership. Registration/Info: 441-885-1249; http://www.morgan.edu/academics/special/IUR/iurlink.asp.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Wealth Gap Between Whites and Blacks and Hispanics Grew Wider Since 2001. White household's $88,000 median net worth was 11 times more than Hispanics and 14 times more than Blacks, according to a study by the Pew Hispanic Center, a non-partisan research organization sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trust. Controlling for inflation, whites' worth increased 17% between 1996-2002, rose 14% for Hispanics to $7,900, and declined 16% to $6,000 for Blacks. According to the study, Blacks especially were hard hit by job losses in the manufacturing and professional fields, losing by "last hired, first fired" policies. ("The Wealth of Hispanic Households: 1996-2002," Oct., 2004; http://www.pewhispanic.org/site/docs/pdf/The%20Wealth%20of%20Hispanic%20Households.pdf)

Several Strategies Praised as Innovative Ideas to Strengthen Metro Regions and Address Housing Affordability Problems. The latest issue of the Fannie Mae Foundation's Housing Facts & Findings lauds Sacramento's "Blueprint Project" for its use of planning software featuring different scenarios to help suburban counties' manage growth. The two-state Kansas City metro Mid-America Regional Council focuses on the availability of affordable housing in planning for transportation, public places, & environmental quality. (Housing Facts & Findings, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2004: 1-4; http://www.fanniemaefoundation.org/programs/hff/v6i3-index.shtml.

Contact the GBCHRB for FREE Fair Housing Informational Brochures & Posters. Brochures on Fair Housing rights are available for free in the English, Spanish, Korean, and Russian languages. Also, copies of the GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat are available in digital format, and will soon be on our website! Info: 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 / mail@gbchrb.org for free copies.

The GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat TV Show Is on Various Cable Stations Throughout Maryland! Hosted by Dr. Bill Kladky, the 30-minute interview show runs on Channel 21 & 5 in Baltimore City, 99 in Anne Arundel County, 71 in Baltimore County, 3 in Carroll, 3 & 7 in Harford, and cable systems in Calvert, St. Mary's, and other counties! Call us at 410-453-9500 for days and times!

REST IN PEACE

Michael G. Holofcener, Civil Rights Advocate, 74. A retired sporting goods merchant, Holofcener served as chair of Baltimore County's Human Relations Commission, and publicly fought with County Executive Spiro T. Agnew over his lack of support of civil rights. Under Holofcener's guidance, the Commission assisted the owners of the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Woodlawn reach an agreement to integrate the facility on August 28, 1963. (Baltimore Sun, October 13, 2004:5B)