Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) March-April, 1999/Volume 4, Number 1

FAIR HOUSING NEWS

A quarterly newsletter about fair housing, community development, and neighborhood quality of life.


SPRING GREETINGS FROM THE GBCHRB!

If you would like a free copy of any article mentioned here or if you know of someone who should be mailed their own copy of Fair Housing News, call 410-453-9500 or 800-772-0144.

IN THE NEWS

Study Finds that Housing Discrimination Continues to be a Common Experience for Blacks and Hispanics. A review of recent research underlines that housing discrimination increases a household's search costs and may force it to settle for a house that yields less satisfaction than the one obtained without discrimination. In Closed Doors, Opportunities Lost: The Continuing Costs of Housing Discrimination (New York: Russell Sage, 1995), Yinger estimates that discrimination imposes an annual cost of $2.6 billion on black households and $1.5 billion on Hispanic households. (Housing Policy Debate, 1998:893-927)

The 1999 HUD Fair Housing Summit Will Be held on April 21st from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. in Annapolis at the Lowe House Office Building. Speakers are Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland DHCD Secretary Ray Skinner, and various others. The annual event features workshops on fair lending, fair housing rights, hate crimes, regionalism, zoning, and transportation. Registration: 410-962-2520, extension 3038.

Study Finds that the Racial Composition of Lending Organizations' Workforce Affects Loan Approval Rates for Minority Applicants. Kim & Squires' examination of 147 lenders showed that the proportion of administrative and professional employees of a given race increases the probability that an applicant from that race will be approved. Blacks particularly gain from a percentage increase. (Housing Policy Debate, 1998:271-284)

The Number of Hate Groups in the U. S. Increased 13% from 474 to 537, According to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Hate group sites on the Internet jumped 60% from 163 in 1997 to 254 to 1998. To Mark Potok of the Center, the Internet "has become the propaganda venue of choice, (allowing) Klansmen who a few years ago could only reach 100 people to reach an audience in the millions." (CNN interactive, February 26, 1999)

Federal Judge Rules That a Anne Arundel County Condo Violated Accessibility Rights of Baltimore Man Who Uses a Wheelchair. The suit, brought by Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., was the first in favor of a plaintiff brought under the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988. A trial now will be held to determine the damages against the Lion's Gate Condominium development. Studies are finding that many new multifamily buildings are not in compliance with the law. (New York Times, March 22, 1999:1)

Study Finds 2 of 3 Welfare Moms Lack Basic Job Skills - And Today's Welfare Programs Won't Help. The Educational Testing Service found that today's welfare programs provide little education and training. Prospects are worst for African-American and Hispanic women, who are least likely to have the needed skills. It is recommended that states offer child care and support services to help the mothers find and keep jobs. (Baltimore Sun, March 11, 1999:9A).

A White Supremacist, John King, Was Convicted of Dragging a Black Man to Death on February 23rd. While the Jasper, Texas, Hate Crime Captured the Nation's Attention, Hate Crimes Continue to Increase Nationally - Even in Wealthy Suburbs. In February, parents of 4 black students from Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, Marin County, California, filed suit against the Novato school district. The suit attests to a continuing string of hate attacks on blacks and gays at San Marin High School, located in one of the 3 wealthiest counties in the country. (The Economist, February 27, 1999:29).

President Clinton Established "The White House Office on the President's Initiative for One America" Rejecting Advice That He Create a Permanent Commission on Racial Relations. Its first duty will be to promote items in the Year 200 budget having the most impact on minority communities. (CNN Interactive, February 5, 1999)

Each Year Sudbrook Middle Schoolers Study Intolerance and Racial Animosity and What Can Be Done to Overcome Them. At the end of an intensive study, students make "Student Action Promises" about how exactly they will make their community a better place. The eighth-graders initially study the Holocaust, expanding into forms of social injustice. Regarding prejudice, the students examined the four roles people play - victims, perpetrators, bystanders, and rescuers. (Baltimore Sun, March 13, 1999:1A)

RECENT INTERESTING BOOKS

Double Burden: Black Women and Everyday Racism, by Yannick St. Jean & Joe R. Feagin. Amonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1998. 235 pp. $35.00. This is a compilation of various studies, results from several focus groups, and writings about the differential opportunities, constraints, and experiences of middle-class African-American women. Racism is shown to affect all blacks, regardless of economic or educational achievements.

Face to Face: The Changing State of Racism Across America, by James Waller. New York: Insight/Plenum, 1998. 272 pp. $29.95. The author examines the significance of racism via an extended cross-country field trip, as well as a review of available studies - including social psychology approaches.

Cities in Civilization, by Sir Peter Hall. New York: Pantheon, 1998. 1,169 pp. $40. Hall makes a learned, optimistic case for cities continuing to be the world's centers of creativity. He reviews the golden age of 21 great Western cities from Athens to Los Angeles, including Memphis as the seat of jazz and Palo Alto for high-tech revolution. The cyclical tides of economic change and urban invigoration are identified, and the dreadful multi-year impact of excessive debt and political gridlock are detailed.

The Urban Transition Zone: A Place Worth a Fight, by Marcus Pollock and Ed Rutkowski. Baltimore: Patterson Park Community Development Corporation, 1998. 125 pp. A very interesting and thought-provoking analysis of Baltimore's problems and possible solutions. Concentrating on the "urban transition zone," the authors propose alternatives to promote urban stabilization and revitalization. More info: 410-732-0902.

The Encyclopedia of Housing, edited by Willem van Vliet. New York: Sage, 1998. 736 pp. $169.95. This is a multidisciplinary compendium of research and state-of-the-art essays that includes critical assessments and selected bibliographies. The 500+ entries cover crucial issues, important legislation, organizations, and publications.

Reaching Beyond Race, by Paul M. Sniderman & Edward G. Carmines. Cambridge: Harvard University, 1997. 192 pp. $22.95. From a public opinion poll, the authors conclude that the strongest arguments on behalf of equality for blacks are based on moral principles which reach beyond race.

DID YOU KNOW?

A Disability Etiquette Handbook is available from the Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities. Prepared by the Commission's Public Information & Awareness Committee, the informative 6-page booklet treats the ADA, acceptable terms, myths, and employment do's and don't's. Info: call the Commission at 410-887-3580.

Anne Lee, President of the League of Women Voters of Baltimore County, has been Appointed to the State Advisory Committee of the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights. Congratulations Anne!

Baltimore City Showed the Largest Increase in Home Sales in the Region in 1998. 6,820 homes sold, a 41.9% increase from 1997. (Baltimore Housing News, January 19, 1999:2)

TV Worth Watching! Local, Relevant, Positive! The GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat is on cable-TV stations - Channel 5 in Baltimore City, 99 in Anne Arundel County, 20 in Baltimore County, 3 & 7 in Harford, and 71/8 in Howard County! Call the stations for days and times!





BULLETIN BOARD

Good Neighbor Week 1999 in Baltimore County Will be Held from May 13th to May 24th. The Week promotes the healing of divisions of race, religion, and culture. A kick-off opening ceremony featuring awards for bridge builders and "Good Neighbors" will be held on May 13th at the Benjamin Banneker Center in Oella. Info: 410-825-3360.

Interested in Fair Housing Educational Materials and/or Training? Call the GBCHRB! For one or multiple Fair Housing brochures, call us at 410-453-9500. Free Fair Housing Self-Help Guides, posters, and other materials also are available.

Get Up Early on Saturday! Living in Baltimore, the GBCHRB's radio show, is on "Heaven-600" (600 AM) Saturdays at 6:00 a.m.



REST IN PEACE

Retired Judge Harry A. Cole, 78. February 14. Cole became the first black to serve on Maryland's Court of Appeals in 1977. His 14-year tenure included writing the opinion upholding the State's right to fund abortions for poor women. Upon his appointment, Judge Cole said, "I believe I have been fair and impartial as a judge, having full recognition of prejudice but not getting enmeshed in it."

Miriam R. Paisley, Rights Activist, 79. March 9. A member of the Fellowship for Reconciliation, War Resisters League, and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, she participating in many Civil Rights protest marches, prayer vigils, and sit-ins. Born and raised in East Baltimore, she also was a published poet.

Virginia Foster Durr, Rights Activist, 95. March 24th. Mrs. Durr and her husband attorney Clifford bailed Rosa Parks out of jail in 1955 after she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated Montgomery city bus. She fought racist poll taxes and backed the civil rights movement. Mrs. Parks, now 86, reacted, "She was a lady and a scholar, and I will miss her.".


CONTACT US:

    Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc.
    P. O. Box 66180
    Baltimore, Maryland 21239-6180
    410-453-9500

    mail@gbchrb.org        

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