Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) Sept. - Oct., 1999/Volume 4, Number 3

FAIR HOUSING NEWS

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


FALL GREETINGS!

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 800-895-6302. Check out our Internet web site: www.gbchrb.org.

IN THE NEWS

A HUD-Urban Institute Report Finds That Discriminatory Practices by Mortgage Lenders Have Widened the Growing Racial Disparity in Home Ownership. The 62-page HUD/Urban Institute report, What We Know About Mortgage Lending Discrimination, released September 19th, found "minorities are less likely than whites to obtain mortgage financing and tend to receive less generous loan amounts and terms," and that loan denial rates for minorities cannot be explained away by differences in creditworthiness or other legitimate factors. Secretary Andrew Cuomo commented, "Discrimination is getting worse - that is the sad truth today." (Wall Street Journal, September 20, 1999:B11E)

Study of Segregation 30 Years After the Fair Housing Act Finds Black-White Segregation at a "Very High Level" and is "Changing Only Modestly." Nancy A. Denton, co-author of American Apartheid (Harvard, 1993), found that racial segregation remains higher in the North than South. Segregation for African-Americans is higher than that of any other group: 65% greater than Asians and 35% above Hispanics. Denton recommends increased support of Fair Housing programs and enforcement efforts. ("Half Empty or Half Full: Segregation and Segregated Neighborhoods 30 Years After the Fair Housing Act," Cityscape 4 (1999):107-122)

ACCESS Maryland Files 4 Law Suits Alleging Businesses Not Providing Accessibility for People with Disabilities. The businesses are accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing physical access for wheelchair users. ACCESS Maryland is a joint project of the Maryland Disability Law Center, Maryland Trial Lawyers Association, and MCIL Resources for Independent Living, Inc. (Baltimore Sun, June 29, 1999:1D)

Incidents of Racism are Widespread in Howard County, According to Testimony at a Recent County Meeting. The meeting was held by the Maryland Advisory Committee to the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights at the Howard County Office of Human Rights on September 15th. Local attorneys, clergy, and others spoke of racism within the school system, in law enforcement, and with the usage of racial profiling at shopping malls (Baltimore Sun, September 16, 1999:4B). Many others, however, believe Columbia has remained "true to its integrationist roots" (Baltimore Sun, May 2, 1999:3B)

HUD Report Finds Many Seniors Live in Housing That Costs Too Much, is in Substandard Condition, or Fails to Accommodate Their Physical Disabilities and Needs for Assistance. The 55-page report The Challenge of Housing Security: Report to Congress on the Housing Conditions and Needs of Older Americans has the first data regarding home accessibility needs and modifications. Findings include: the majority of senior renters spend more than 30% of their income on shelter, 6% of seniors live in housing units that need repair or rehabilitation. $5.00 from HUD User 800-245-2691. (Recent Research Results, August, 1999:4)

Study Finds Job Opportunities for African-Americans Limited by Extent of Segregated Suburbs. A University of Connecticut economist found that Blacks are 30% less likely to take a new job if it requires moving to a segregated suburb. (Wall Street Journal, May 5, 1999:B1)

U. S. Conference of Mayors Finds Over 80% of Officials Believe that City-Suburban Cooperation is Vital to the Future of Metropolitan Areas. Investing in central cities is the key to creating competitive metropolitan markets. In the new global economy, regions without a healthy central city will be in trouble. (Recent Research Results, Aug., 1999:2)

President Clinton Urged America's Lawyers to Allot More Time to Pro Bono Work to Battle the Continuing Problems of Racism and Poverty. Speaking to bar association leaders, corporation counsels, and civil rights attorneys, Clinton cited a 1993 American Bar Association survey finding one-half of low-income households had at least one serious legal problem annually though 75% could not afford a lawyer. (cnn.com, July 20, 1999)

DID YOU KNOW?

The Community Assistance Network of Dundalk received a HUD Top 100 Best Practices Award. CAN was honored for its Baltimore Regional Housing Opportunity Program offering families with Section 8 vouchers help in making Fair Housing mobility choices. CAN received its award along with 99 others out of 3,477 nominations. (HUD, July 29, 1999:1)

The City's Housing Fairs are a Success! A series of housing fairs organized by the Fannie Mae Foundation, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, and the Live Baltimore Marketing Center, have drawn many people and resulted in over 81 house sales contracts and 49 settlements. The Fairs promote neighborhoods, with buyers' incomes $11,000- $150,000 and sales prices $44,000-$184,000. (Baltimore Sun, September 19, 1999:1J)

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

An Interfaith Vigil Against Hate Violence will be held on October 7th. Part of the "Stop the Hate" Campaign of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Interfaith Alliance, the Campaign is distributing a "Stop the Hate Organizers' Toolkit" to support locally-based interfaith efforts to reduce hate violence. Stop the Hate Campaign, Fellowship of Reconciliation, P. O. Box 271, Nyack, NY 10960.

"A Century of Sacred Music" Free Concert Featuring 200 Choristers Will be Held at 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 10th, at the Douglas Memorial Christian Community Church, 1327 Madison Avenue, Baltimore. Choirs include College of Notre Dame, Gilman School, the hosting Church, and many others. The concert benefits the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council. 410-467-6194.


The Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors will Hold Its Annual Convention on October 20th, Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium. 410-337-7200.

The Mayor's Commission on Disabilities Will Hold Its Fifth Annual Awards for Excellence in Employment Luncheon on Thursday, October 21st. The Luncheon will be held at the New Shiloh Family Life Center, 2100 North Monroe Street. Keynoter will be Rebecca L. Ogle, Executive Director of the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities. Registration $20. 410-396-9944.

The Third Annual Domestic Violence Conference, "Breaking the Cycle for the New Millennium," Will Be Held on October 28th. The Conference - being sponsored by the Mayor, Baltimore City Commission for Women, and the Department of Social Services - will feature workshops, networking, and resources. 410-396-4274.

Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. will celebrate its 40th birthday on Saturday, October 30th with a party at the Episcopal Church of Christ the King, 1930 Brookdale Road. $30 for a reservation. 410-785-2090.

The Baltimore Community Relations Commission will hold its Eleventh Annual Breakfast Meeting on November 19th at 8 a.m. at the Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, 101 W. Fayette Street. George E. Curry, editor-in-chief of EMERGE: Black America's Newsmagazine, will be the keynote speaker. Info: Tom Saunders at 410-396-3151.

A "Hate Crimes Forum" will be Held by the Baltimore County Human Relations Commission and the Towson University Office of Multicultural Institute on Tuesday, November 30th at 6:00 p.m. Subtitled "From Hate to Healing: Taking a Proactive Role Against Hate Crimes," the Forum will be held in the Chesapeake Room of the Towson University Student Union. 410-887-5917.

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

James S. Farmer, Civil Rights Pioneer, 79. Farmer, a founding member of the Congress of Racial Equality and later its national director, led the Freedom Rides effort to integrate Southern interstate buses and terminals. Joseph Lowery, former head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, commented that Farmer "challenged injustice at its root. He was willing to take to the streets and stimulate and precipitate. He was a catalyst."

Charles W. Gilchrist, Community Activist, 62. Gilchrist was Montgomery County's county executive, an Episcopal priest, and a tireless worker for the inner city poor and disadvantaged. Recently, he was director of operations for New Song ministry in the Sandtown neighborhood, and the Court-appointed overseer of the Baltimore - ACLU public housing desegregation case settlement. (http://www.washingtonpost.com, June 25, 1999)

Frank Johnson, Alabama Judge, 80. A key judge who ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional in 1955 in the Rosa Parks case which helped start the modern civil rights movement, Johnson's rulings (such as allowing the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march to proceed) were key in the movement's development. His biography was written by Robert F. Kennedy's son Robert because, said Kennedy, "he proved that a single man can make a difference." (The Economist, August 7, 1999:75)

Daniel W. Spaulding, Real Estate Broker, 89. Spaulding was the first African-American broker in Baltimore. In 1945, he used his family connections to help an African-American family become the first to acquire a house in an all-white neighborhood in the city. Spaulding served as president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, on the Maryland Real Estate Commission, and received numerous awards, including a 1998 Living Legend in Fair Housing Award from the Greater Baltimore CHRB. (Baltimore Sun, July 22, 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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