Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) February-March, 2000 / Vol. 6, No. 1

FAIR HOUSING NEWS

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


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: http://www.gbchrb.org.



IN THE NEWS

Urban Institute Study of Baltimore County Finds Section 8 Concentration Negatively Affects Property Values. The study of sale prices of single-family homes near Section 8 sites during 1991-1995 discovered a substantial adverse effect on prices within 2,000 feet. Homeowner focus groups found the negative impact was linked to badly-managed and maintained properties. (Housing Policy Debate, Volume 10, Number 4, 879-917)

The FBI is Investigating a Wave of Hate Mail Sent from North Carolina to Civil Rights Groups and Black Colleges. The obscenity-filled mail threatens violence against Blacks and Jews, and speak of Rahowa - a "racial holy war" - of the white supremacist World Church of the Creator. (Baltimore Sun, January 8, 2000:A2)

The Census Bureau Predicts Twice as Many Americans by 2100. The Bureau projects growth from today's 275 million to 571 million in 2100, a population density of 161.4 per square mile. Some 5.3 million will be over 100 years. There will be a significantly larger share of minorities, especially Hispanics, due to immigration and age of the current population. The Black population would rise from 34.9 million in 1999 to 59.2 million in 2050, or from 13% to 15% overall. (www.cnn.com, January 13, 2000).



Income of Richest and Poorest Widens for U. S. Families. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report found income for the poorest families rose $110 during 1988-1998 to $12,990. For the richest, it increased $17,870 - more than 10 times - to $137,480. The income gap narrowed in just three states - Alaska, Louisiana, and Tennessee. (www.cnn.com, January 18, 2000)

Landmark Mental Disability Suit Settled After 30 Years. The Wyatt v. Sawyer agreement, an Alabama class-action lawsuit first established a right to treatment for people in mental institutions, will move 600 more patients to community programs within 3 years. The case established that "states could no longer warehouse people," and improved services across the country to people with mental disabilities. (www.bazelon.org, February 19, 2000)

HUD Panel of Urban Experts Finds 1956 Interstate Highway Act was #1 Influence on American Metropolis in Past 50 Years. The FHA's low-down payment, fixed-rate mortgage regulation was #2, with central city de-industrialization third. The #1 predicted strongest influence for the next 50 years was growing disparities of wealth.. (Housing Facts & Findings, Winter, 1999:1)



Poll Finds a Large Majority of Americans Believe that Banks are Biased. The National Community Reinvestment Corporation found that people believed by a 5-to-1 margin that banks favor white men over black and Hispanic men with equal credit histories and incomes in loan decisions, and by 6-to-1 that banks favor white men over white women. (www.ncrc.org, December 16, 1999; Baltimore Sun, December 17, 1999:4A)



Fannie Mae Chairman & CEO Calls for Mortgage Consumer Bill of Rights. Franklin D. Raines announced the start of the Fannie Mae True Cost Calculator, an internet-based too to shop for the best mortgage deal, and expanded public information about underwriting. He also urged the housing industry to work together to lower costs and expand home ownership. (www.fanniemae.com, January 14, 2000)

Handicapitalism? Mainstream companies are rapidly tailoring products to attract people with disabilities, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Such companies as Wells Fargo & Co., Johnson & Johnson, DaimlerChrysler AG, Barnes & Noble, Nokia Corp., and Microsoft Corp. have realized that "fact: people with disabilities have money!" All-terrain wheelchairs, computers with "sticky keys," and phones that flash or vibrate. (Wall Street Journal, December 15, 1999:B1)



INTERNET RESOURCES



The Website of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law (www.bazelon.org) is an Excellent Source of Disability Information. It contains recent news, legislative alerts, advocacy resources, and various disability and advocacy website links.

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition website (www.ncrc.org) is the Place on the Web for Bank Information. It has links to the offices providing branch deposit information, governmental supervisory units, fair lending resources, community capital and economic development, and a wonderful collection of internet and computer technology websites.

Interested in Buying or Selling a House? Questions About Neighbor Law? Try www.nolo.com. This site provides a step-by-step guide to home buying, internet resources for househunting, info about selling law, the "fine print," and all aspects of neighbor law - noise, dogs, fences, trees, water, etc..

Some Good Fair Housing Websites are: the National Fair Housing Advocate's www.fairhousing.com, The www.fairhousing.org of the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington, and www.usccr.gov of the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights.



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!



BULLETIN BOARD

On March 25th, the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors will hold a "Gala 2000: Building a Better Tomorrow" to benefit the GBBR Foundation & Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity. Info: 410-337-7200.

A Forum on "Faith of Our Mothers: Building a Better Community" will be held at Maryland Presbyterian Church, 1105 Providence Road inTowson, by the Concerned Religious Leaders of Baltimore County on May 16th from 7-9 p.m. More information: 410-825-3360 or 410-453-9500.

Get Ready for Maryland's Presidential Primary by Laughing at the Candidates! The League of Women Voters of Baltimore County fundraiser will be at 8 p.m. on March 4th at Goucher College. Tickets available from the League at 6305 York Road, Suite 40, Baltimore 21212, for $40.

INTERESTING BOOKS

As Long As They Don't Move Next Door: Segregation and Racial Conflict in American Neighborhoods. Stephen G. Meyer. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000. This is a history of methods utilized by primarily Northern citizens to stop the racial integration of their neighborhoods.

Grand Central Winter. Lee Stringer. New York: Seven Stories Press, 1998. Real-life stories from a man who was homeless in New York City for some time. His "adventures" are occasionally amusing, pathetic, profound, and heart-wrenching. In short, a portrait of life at-risk. Shows the complexities of homeless life - how to get there and get out.

Race, Rights, and the Asian American Experience. Angelo N. Ancheta. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University, 1998. Analysis of the role of Asian Americans in race relations, politics, and demographic change.

Restoring America's Neighborhoods: How Local People Make a Difference. Michael R. Greenberg. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University, 1999. Case studies of successful local efforts - anti-arson programs, housing redevelopment, flood plain planning, brownfields, pollution prevention, and environmental justice movements.



REST IN PEACE

William H. C. Wilson, Realtor and Activist, 78. A member of Mayor Theodore McKeldin's Housing Study Advisory Commission in 1964, Wilson stated, "We needed a city open housing law, a state law, and a federal law. We couldn't have open housing voluntarily - the country would be in terrible shape without such a law." James P. O'Conor said Wilson "felt a deep concern for those who were deprived of equal opportunity." (Baltimore Sun, February 3, 2000:6B)

C. Vann Woodward, Historian of the South, 91. His most famous book, The Strange Career of Jim Crow (1955), was called the "historical bible of the civil rights movement" by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Woodward (who taught at Johns Hopkins University from 1947 to 1961) documented that segregation - as expressed by Jim Crow laws - did not appear until the beginning of the 20th century, well after the end of slavery. His book is sometimes regarded as being the most influential on American race relations. (Baltimore Sun, December 19, 1999:7B)


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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