Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) December, 1999 / Vol. 5, No. 4
FAIR HOUSING NEWS
A newsletter about fair housing, community development, and neighborhood quality of life.
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: http://www.gbchrb.org.
IN THE NEWS
Brothers Plead Guilty to Federal Hate Crime in Bowie High School Cross Burning Case. The cross burning was done to "send an intimidating and threatening message to black students" after a fight between a white female and several black students. Lynne A. Battaglia, the U. S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, said that "Hate must be confronted head-on, wherever it is discovered. Federal law and common decency dictate that our schools be safe for children of all backgrounds." (Press Release, Dec. 2, 1999)
A $1.5 Million Settlement Was Announced between Florida's Fair Housing Continuum and the Designers, Builders, and Developers of 3 Condominiums on the East Coast. The cost includes retrofitting unit features at each complex to permit persons with mobility impairments to live at the complex. (National Fair Housing Advocate, September/October, 1999:4)
Sociologists Identify Economic Depression and Racial Divide as Key Factors in White Supremacist Group Recruitment. At a Congressional Briefing, four sociologists present evidence that angry young white males are best recruited in areas that are economically depressed and with a very wide racial separation. (ASA Newsletter, December, 1999:3)
Study Finds Improving Schools and Other Neighborhood Conditions Will Only Increase Perceived Neighborhood Quality If Crime and Blight Are Controlled. The Rutgers University study also found that the severe authority distrust of many residents of distressed neighborhoods can destroy neighborhood redevelopment efforts almost before they begin. (Housing Policy Debate, Vol. 10, Issue 3:601-624)
Race Continues to Powerfully Influence Chances for Success, According to Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality. The 5-year survey, sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation, found that race is "deeply entrenched." Stereotyping often dominates, especially where people want to live and whom they will hire. While minorities are doing better in the 1990s, they still make less money, work fewer hours, and had a significant harder time finding jobs than whites. (Baltimore Sun, October 2, 1999:3A)
Sprawl is Not Inevitable, Sierra Club Report Finds. "Solving Sprawl" finds that states that want to solve development problems have many successful examples to follow. However, only 11 states have passed comprehensive statewide growth-management acts; 21 spent over 50% of their federal transportation funds on new road construction rather than investing in existing roads and developing transportation alternatives. (CNN Interactive, October 8, 1999)
Developers of a Perry Hall Condominium Agree to Pay Nearly $500,000 to Settle Lawsuit Regarding Accessibility. The Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., lawsuit was filed after inspections found the Red Fox Farms project clearly violated the 1991 federal law requiring that new multifamily family housing be wheelchair-accessible. Most of the settlement money will be utilized for related accessibility repairs at the condominiums. (Baltimore Sun, October 29, 1999:3C)
Study of the 50th Anniversary of the Housing Act of 1949 Finds Successes and Failures. While significant progress has been made, the goal of a "decent home and a suitable living environment for every family" remains unachieved for many. Current conditions include the ongoing isolation of the poor and minorities, as well as a partial enforcement of Fair Housing laws against the different types of discrimination operant today. Future problems loom as housing for the increasing numbers of seniors is expected to be sorely inadequate. (Field Works, HUD, October, 1999)
President Clinton Urged Americans to "Purge the Darkness in Our Hearts" & Reject Hatred. At a fundraising dinner hosted by Access Now for Gay and Lesbian Equality (ANGLE), Clinton said "The biggest problem we've got is the primitive age-old fear and dehumanization of the other people who are not like us. We have to be one America." (CNN Interactive, October 3, 1999)
The Baltimore Region is Growing Increasingly Ethnically and Racially Diverse. Some 15,561 immigrants moved into Maryland in 1998, and data indicates that many racial minorities are moving throughout the suburban counties. Baltimore County has seen recent increases in African-American families, as well as Asians, Indians, and Middle Easterners. The number of Hispanics has jumped in Anne Arundel, Harford, and Howard Counties. (Baltimore Sun, November 14, 1999:2G)
CPHA Transportation Study Discovers Enhanced Transit is Key to Job Development. The study, conducted by the University of Baltimore, of job accessibility for former welfare recipients found that over 35% of entry-level jobs are inaccessible by public transportation - but less than 7% of welfare recipients own an automobile. The report recommends expanded public transit, better service linkages, and linking day care centers to regional transit hubs. (Access to Jobs in the Baltimore Region, CPHA, 1999)
$13.25 an Hour Needed to Afford a Two-Bedroom Rental Unit in Maryland, Study Finds. Some $11.04 is needed for a one-bedroom unit. The National Low Income Housing Coalition report Out of Reach found that 32% of Maryland renters could not afford a one-bedroom apartment, and 38% cannot afford a two-bedroom unit. Maryland is ranked as the 9th most expensive state in the country. (The Center Point, Fall, 1999:11)
DID YOU KNOW?
Analysis of the Origins of White Supremacist Hatred Argues the Underlying Racism and Sexism Is Interwoven in American Society. Abby Ferber's White Man Falling: Race, Gender, and White Supremacy (Rowan & Littlefield, 1998) tersely considers the theoretical underpinnings of the hate movement and mainstream values. Cloth, $24.95.
Recently-Enacted Senate Bill 565 Mandates 1.5 Hours of Fair Housing Continuing Education for Realtors in Maryland. The education now is needed for license renewal.
A Study of Homelessness Has Just Been Released by the Urban Institute. Entitled "Homelessness: Programs and the People They Serve," the study reports on the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients. The full text is available on-line at www.huduser.org/publications/homeless/homelessness.
HUD Declares 27 Lenders Ineligible For Federal Mortgage Insurance to Back Home Loans. Including offices of Capitol Mortgage Bankers, Home Mortgage Center, & Harbor Financial Mortgage, these have default and foreclosure rates 3 times the national average. (Weekly News Facts, Maryland Center for Community Development, October 8, 1999:3)
TV Worth Watching!?! Local, Positive! The GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat is on Six Cable-TV stations. The 30-minute interview show runs on Channels 21 and 5 in Baltimore City, 99 in Anne Arundel County, 72 in Baltimore County, 3 & 7 in Harford, and 71/8 in Howard County! Call 410-453-9500 or the stations for days and times!
The Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors will hold a Fair Housing/Diversity Class "At Home with Diversity" on January 6th, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. $75 members, $150 non-members. Info: 410-337-7200.
A Forum on "Religious Diversity in Baltimore County" will be held by the Concerned Religious Leaders of Baltimore County on February 1 from 9-11 a.m. The Reverend Dr. Christopher Leighton of the Institute for Christian-Jewish Studies will keynote, and a multi-faith panel will discuss diversity and considering "the other." More information: 410-825-3360 or 410-453-9500.
A Skills Training Program for Attorneys Who Litigate Fair Housing Cases Will be Conducted by the John Marshall Law School February 3-5. 4 judges from the HUD office of Administrative Law Judges will instruct. $375. Registration: fax 312-427-9438.
The National Community Reinvestment Coalition will hold its annual conference March 19-22 in Washington, D. C. More information: 202-628-8866 / www.ncrc.org.
Interested in Free Fair Housing Educational Materials and/or Training? For Fair Housing brochures, Self-Help Guides, posters, and other materials, call 410-453-9500. Our Living in Baltimore radio show is on "Heaven-600" (600 AM) Saturdays at 6 a.m.
REST IN PEACE
Russell T. Baker, Sr., Realtor & Open Housing Law Advocate, 85. During the 1960s while president of the now-titled Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors (GBBR), Baker supported open housing laws on the city, state, and federal levels. He was given the Realtor's Lifetime Achievement Award by GBBR. Baker was described as a "caring, compassionate human being who was deeply concerned about seeing that minorities could gain equal access to equal housing." (Baltimore Sun, October 10, 1999:8B)
Daisy Bates, Civil Rights Leader, 84. Bates assisted the nine black students who broke the color barrier at Little Rock Central High School in 1957. She received over 200 citations and awards, and won the 1988 American Book Award with her 1962 book The Long Shadow of Little Rock. In 1941, she and her husband began the Arkansas State Press, which worked for civil rights. President Clinton said her death "will leave a vacuum in the civil rights community, the state of Arkansas, and our country." (Baltimore Sun, November 5, 1999:6B)
James L. Caskey, Jr., Community Activist, 54. A long-time activist with community groups in Pigtown, Hollins Street, Washington Village, and Shipley
Hill in Baltimore, Caskey also worked with the Maryland AIDS Administration and headed the AIDS prevention effort in Baltimore. He served on the
board of the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Investment, the Maryland Center for Community Development, and many other groups. Since 1994,
Caskey also had been president of Dignity Baltimore, a group of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual Roman Catholics, their families and friends.
(Baltimore Sun, September 28, 1999:6B)
Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc.
P. O. Box 66180
Baltimore, Maryland 21239-6180
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