Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) June-July, 1999/Volume 4, Number 2

FAIR HOUSING NEWS

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


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. Check out our new Internet web site: www.gbchrb.org. You will find Self-Help Guides, info about our shows, Fair Housing studies, and more!

IN THE NEWS

Study of Impact of Fair Housing Act of 1968 Finds Mixed Progress, Persistent Discrimination and Segregation. Nancy A. Denton, co-author of American Apartheid (1993), found that while residential segregation remains very high, it has lessened since 1970 especially in the South and West; the percent of all-white neighborhoods has dropped significantly. African-Americans continue to face much segregation and frequent discrimination: the segregation of African-Americans is 65% greater than that of Asians and 35% greater than Hispanics. ("Half Empty or Half Full?"Cityscape (1998):107-122.

Study Finds Big Differences in Outcomes of Fair Housing Complaints. The HUD-funded Housing Assistance Council (HAC) examined 19,000 fair housing complaints, and found that racial discrimination was the most frequent charge. In metro areas, complainants are more likely to obtain monetary compensation; in non-metro areas, they are more likely to receive access to the denied housing. $5 from HAC 202-842-8600. (Recent Research Results, April, 1999:3)

HUD Distributes New Booklet to Simplify Filing Housing Discrimination Claims; Claims Can be Filed Via the Internet. Are You a Victim of Housing Discrimination?contains a clearly written discrimination complaint form that can be folded over and mailed. Copies are available on the Internet at http:www.hud.gov/hdiscrim.html and can be filed electronically, or directly from HUD (410-962-2520, ext. 3011).

In Midst of Booming Economy, Rising Rents and Stagnant Wages Increase Gap in Housing Affordability. Rents rose at double the rate of inflation from 1997-1998, according to a HUD study Waiting in Vain: An Update on America's Rental Housing Crisis(March, 1999). HUD estimates that 12.5 million people face "worst-case needs," earning less than 50% of the median income and paying more than 50% of their income for rent or live in substandard housing. (Baltimore Sun, April 25, 1999:12A)

Civil Rights Heroine Rosa Parks Received a Congressional Gold Medal, the Nation's Oldest Medal. The refusal of Parks (then a seamstress), 86, in December, 1955, to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama, inspired civil rights advocates nationwide. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., then a local minister, led a subsequent year-long bus boycott until the Supreme Court ruled the city's segregation law was unconstitutional. President Clinton said, "Her act that December day was, in itself, a simple one; but it required uncommon courage. It was a ringing rebuke to those who denied the dignity and restricted the rights of African-Americans." (BaltimoreSun, April 21:12A & May 5, 1999:2A)

"A Deliberate Bias Favoring Property Owners and Harming Renters" Has Been Prominent in American Public Policy, According to a Recent Study. This has occurred despite findings like Rohe & Stegman's 1994 Baltimore study which found that home buyers were less likely to be neighborly than the continuing renters. The home buyers participated more in neighborhood & block associations, but the renters were more frequently in other types of community activity activities. See: Krueckeberg, "The Grapes of Rent: A History of Renting in a Country of Owners," Housing Policy Debate 10, 1 (1999):9-30.

Blacks and Hispanics Accounted for 42% of the Increase in Home Ownership Growth between 1994-1997, According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. Both continue to lag behind the national home ownership rate of 65%. Causal factors are the increase in Fannie Mae's efforts to promote minority home ownership as well as HUD Fair Housing work. To combat discrimination, Fannie Mae has widely distributed automated loan-approval software and undertaken an extensive TV ad campaign aimed at renters (Wall Street Journal, May 5, 1999:B1)



RECENT INTERESTING BOOKS

Commemorating 30th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, HUD Releases Cityscape Special Issue Evaluating Fair Housing Progress and Challenges. The excellent collection of analyses was produced by the HUD Office of Policy Development & Research (Vol. 4, No. 3). Available for $5.00 from HUD User: 800-245-2691.

Civil Rights and Race Relations in the Post Reagan-Bush Era, edited by Samuel Meyers, Jr. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997, $59.95 cloth. The 16 articles include a variety of topics primarily focusing on employment: Bergmann's defense of racial quotas, Feagin's assessment of white racism, and a civil rights program evaluation by Anderson.

Long Time Coming: Racial Inequality in the Nonmetropolitan South, 1940-1990, by Mark A. Fossett & M. Therese Seibert. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1997. $56.00 cloth. This is a hallmark assessment of the persistence of structural racial discrimination in the rural South - and, by extension, in America. After the authors examine education, occupation, labor force composition, manufacturing concentration, and urban proximity, they question whether racial equality in the nonmetropolitan South will ever be achieved.

American Indian Activism: Alcatraz to the Longest Walk, edited by Troy Johnson, Joane Nagel, & Duane Champagne. Urbana: University of Illinois, 1997. $36.95 cloth, $19.95 paper. These 16 articles chronicle American Indian activism in the U. S. over the past 30 years. The Alcatraz occupation in November, 1969-June, 1971 is a special focus, because of its significance to the movement.

Stigma and Sexual Orientation: Understanding Prejudice Against Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals, by Gregory M. Herek. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1998. $54.00 cloth, $23.95 paper. This is an excellent overview of the interdisciplinary literature on homophobia and heterosexism. Included is a thorough survey of the research and laws on gay parenting, as well as summaries of research on psychological stress, attitudinal change, and various survey and studies.

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. For more information, call the Commission at 410-887-3580.

Crossing the Racial Divide is an Excellent Discussion Booklet for Churches and Communities Searching for Biblical Models to Combat Racism. The 84-page book contains practical models for dismantling racism and for reconciliation with justice. Available for $7 from Sojourners: 800-714-7474.

Check Out the HUD User Internet Web Page for Interesting Fair Housing Resources: www.huduser.org. Listed publications: affordable housing, community development, homelessness, housing finance, special needs housing, poverty, and regionalism.

The Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum is a Wonderful Place to Visit. Located at 300 Oella Avenue in Oella, it is open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The Museum features changing exhibits of photographs, artifacts, and audio-visual resources. Consider becoming a member of the Friends of Benjamin Banneker Historical Park. Info: 410-887-1081.

Real Property Assessment Records, Tax Maps, and Sales Data from the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation Can Now Be Obtained from the Internet. Also available: data on every commercial and residential real estate sale completed during the past three years. The address is www.dat.state.md.us. Incidentally, Maryland is the only state to provide this free, online access.

TV Worth Watching!?! Local, Relevant, Positive! The GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat is on Six Cable-TV stations. The 30-minute interview show runs on Channel 5 in Baltimore City, 99 in Anne Arundel County, 72 in Baltimore County, 3 & 7 in Harford, and 71/8 in Howard County! Call the stations for days and times!

BULLETIN BOARD

A Baltimore Metropolitan Council Forum on Regionalism Will Be Held June 23rd from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Evergreen House, 4545 N. Charles Street in Baltimore. $60. Registration: 410-333-8998.

CPHA's Neighborhood Congress Convention Will Be Held from 6-9 p.m. on June 28th at City College High School, 3220 The Alameda. More info: 410-539-1369.


HUD Will Hold a Best Practices and Technical Assistance Symposium in Kansas City on July 20-24, 1999. Telephone toll-free 1-877-747-3861 for information.

Interested in Fair Housing Educational Materials and/or Training? Call the GBCHRB! For free Fair Housing brochures, call 410-453-9500. Free Fair Housing Self-Help Guides, posters, and other materials are available. Don't forget Living in Baltimore, our radio show, is on "Heaven-600" (600 AM) Saturdays at 6:00 a.m.

REST IN PEACE


Alan Murrell, Lawyer for the Poor, 97. Murrell created the State of Maryland's public defender's office in 1971, and served for 19 years. Combative in the courtroom, he also often fought with legislators for sufficient funds to run the office so the poor could have "the best legal defense taxpayers' money could buy." (Baltimore Sun, May 5, 1999:1B)

Marvin I. Baumstein, Political Activist, 81. Baumstein was a Baltimore activist who backed civil rights, peace, and progressive causes. A member of the old Dolfield Democratic Club in northwest Baltimore, he also worked to elect black candidates and was credited as being "instrumental in Parren Mitchell's first victorious campaign" (Baltimore Sun, April 25, 1999:6B) .


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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