Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) June, 2001 / Vol. 7, No. 3

FAIR HOUSING NEWS - A newsletter about fair housing, community development, and neighborhood quality of life


GREETINGS!

Contact us for a free copy of any mentioned article, a free subscription to Fair Housing News, to suggest a topic, or to post a notice in Fair Housing News: 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 / mail@gbchrb.org. More info, resources, & links are at our web site: http://www.gbchrb.org.

IN THE NEWS

*     Residential Housing Segregation Persists in Nation, Harvard Report Finds. The study by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University found that although the nation had growing racial and ethnic diversity during the 1990s, segregation continued in large cities- such as Baltimore - where most of America's blacks, Hispanics, and Asians live. Some 30% of whites now live in cities, primarily urban neighborhoods that are 72% white. Over 60% of blacks live in cities, in neighborhoods averaging 76% minority. Hispanics were found to be are evenly divided between urban and suburban locales. Experts said the analysis has wide-ranging implications on Fair Housing law enforcement, quality schools for minority children, and race relations. In response, many advocates called for stronger enforcement of all Fair Housing laws and regulations. (www.nytimes.com/2001/04/04/national/04CENS.html; National Fair Housing Advocate, April 3, 2001; Baltimore Sun, April 4, 2001:7A)

 

*     2000 Census Data Finds Maryland's Demographic Profile Similar to Much of Nation, but Recent Immigrants are Bypassing Baltimore. There are many more single mothers with children, more unmarrieds forming households together, and more seniors living alone. The number of households with single mothers and kids grew 37,000 in Maryland (30%), and a whopping 48% in Baltimore County. Senior households increased 18% while unmarrieds grew 47%. Further, the Census found today's Hispanic and Asian immigrants are bypassing Baltimore for New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Columbus, Ohio. Baltimore, formerly the third-largest immigration port now isn't even the third-largest in Maryland. (Sunspot,www.sunspot.net, May 18, 2001; Baltimore Sun, April 8, 2001:1A).

 

*          Federal Prosecutors Charge 16 in Illegal Flipping Schemes. Later, An Additional 4 Charged & Will Plead Guilty. House-flipping pioneer Walter Duersch pleaded guilty to mail fraud; he had grossed $4.2 million during 1996-1998 in selling low-value Baltimore properties at inflated value. Duersch's several accomplices also have been found guilty. (Baltimore Sun, April 27, 2001:1A; May 12, 2001:2B; May 26, 2001:1A)

*     State Anti-Discrimination Legislation Banning Discrimination on Basis of Sexual Orientation is Enacted. Three cheers for Governor Glendening, advocate groups, and honorable legislators as Maryland added sexual orientation to the list of banned bases for discrimination. The State is the 11th to ban such discrimination. For a global & national view: World Policy Institute, www.worldpolicy.org/americas/sexorient/sexorient.html. As Senator Barry Goldwater said in 1994: "It's time America realized that there was no gay exemption in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence." Amen.

 

*    BNI Files Lawsuit Against Baltimore City Apartment Building for Fair Housing Violations. The apartment complex is accused of maintaining adults-only and children-only sections in violation of the law. Info: 410-243-4400. (National Fair Housing Advocate, Internet, May 25, 2001)

*    Justice Department Sues Apartments Because Housing Built After 1991 Not Accessible to Persons with Disabilities. On May 10th, 2001, the Justice Department suit filed against two apartment complexes in Olathe, Kansas, alleges the apartments were not designed and built to allow persons with disabilities to use them. (U. S. Department of Justice Press Release, May 10, 2001, www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2001/May/216cr.htm)

*    Alaska Governor Calls for Hate Crimes Bill After Attacks Against "Eskimos"; Texas Governor Finally Signs Hate Crimes Bill Into Law on May 10th. Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles proposed the bill and a commission to combat "a dangerous corrosion of Alaska's social fabric." In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry signed into law the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act named for the African-American dragged to death by three whites in 1998. The act strengthens penalties for crimes motivated by the victim's race, religion, color, sex, disability, sexual preference, age, or national origin. (National Fair Housing Advocate, April 19, 2001; CNN.com, May 11, 2001)

*    While Congressional Legislation Has Floundered, Advocates in 12 States and Cities Are Pushing to Pass Laws Limiting Predatory Lending. Pennsylvania is considering a law that would make it harder for lenders to take advantage of immigrants; the bill says that if the lender and borrower negotiate in a language other than English, the lender must provide a translation of the loan contract (www.bankrate.com). Various studies, such as one conducted by the Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia (National Fair Housing Advocate, April 20, 2001), have continued to find widespread discrimination by insurance companies against city residents.

*    When Judy Williams asked for a Sign Interpreter for Her Condo Association's Annual Meeting, It Was Denied & Would Have Cost $71.25. After she filed a discrimination complaint, the condo association reached a settlement with Ms. Williams. This time it cost them $3,000. A lesson to be learned? We hope so. (National Fair Housing Advocate, April 17, 2001)

            *    Civil Rights "Freedom Riders" Symbolically Re-Enact Trip in Montgomery, Alabama. Cong. John Lewis (D-Georgia) and other survivors re-lived the Atlanta-to-Montgomery bus trip that helped focus the nation's attention on discrimination and violence against blacks. In 1961, when a mob of whites attacked the protesters, Lewis was hit in the head by a wooden crate, and Jim Zwerg was knocked unconscious, all teeth fractured and three vertebrae cracked. (Baltimore Sun, May 10, 2001:8A)

*    Local Donations to Food Banks Vary Considerably During Year - Leading to Shortages During Warm Months. According to data reported in AARP's journal My Generation, donations pour into pantries during the holidays but slow to a trickle during Spring-Summer. For example, Baltimore's Food Bank received 600,000 pounds during November, but only 3,000 in June. (My Generation, May-June, 2001:80)

*    The GBCHRB Begins State-Wide Fair Housing Education Campaign. Funded by the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development & targeted at the Eastern Shore as well as southern & western Maryland, the campaign distribution of includes Fair Housing brochures, guides, posters, and other information; curriculum development; training; and advocacy. Your involvement is needed! Contact us at 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 for free materials, information, and training. Let's work together!

FAIR HOUSING RESOURCES

 



 

 

 

 

REST IN PEACE

The Reverend N. Ellsworth Bunce, Jr., United Methodist Minister, 71. Along with serving five Methodist churches in the Baltimore area, Baltimore-native Bunce was very active in education, worked for social justice (e.g., he testified before the Baltimore City Council in 1967 against racial segregation), and was a "pillar" in his various ecumenical concerns such as his affiliation with the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council for many years. A colleague commented, "he was very much inclined to apply Christianity to society in America - both in social action and in educational knowledge." (Baltimore Sun, May 10, 2001:6B)

Monsignor John J. Egan, Social Activist Priest, 84. One of the first Roman Catholic priests to join the Civil Rights movement (marching in Alabama in the early 1960s), Egan served the Chicago Archdiocese in many capacities: in local parishes, in the Office of Urban Affairs, in ecumenical work, in aiding marriage preparation, in guiding DePaul University. Notably, Egan & others began an organization that helped poor people from being evicted from their homes. Egan won a religious leaders award from the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH in 1987. (CNN.com, May 19, 2001)


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