Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) December, 2001 / Vol. 7, No. 6
FAIR HOUSING NEWS
A newsletter about fair housing, community development, and neighborhood quality of life
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 / firstname.lastname@example.org. More info, resources, & links are at our web site: http://www.gbchrb.org.
IN THE NEWS
- Two Studies Find Little Regional Adherence to Smart Growth Effort. The study, by the Baltimore Regional Partnership and 1000 Friends of
Maryland, found every county - excepting Baltimore County - projects "significant development outside of designated growth areas." The result will be the
loss of 10,000 acres of farms and forests in the next 20 years. Baltimore County's restrictive agricultural zoning, with its urban/rural demarcation line, was
lauded by the report. (Baltimore Sun, October 10, 2001:1B)
- Baltimore's Abandoned Housing Strategy Examined in Study. In Housing Policy Debate (vol. 12, issue 3:pp.415-448), the Fannie Mae Foundation's
journal, James R. Cohen, a University of Maryland at College Park prof, found many constraints, such as a "difficulty in reaching a policy consensus,"
illegal flipping, problems produced by "difficulties in tracking ownership, felons' ownership of derelict units, and a shortage of staffing to process takings,"
as well as the "omnipresence of lead paint and lack of foreign immigration" (p. 415). As for solutions, Cohen underlines the need for a multilayer approach
including various policy and procedural reforms, regional approaches, and increased funding.
- Special Problems Hamper Asian Americans Becoming Homeowners. In "Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE): A Case Study of
Strategies for Expanding Immigrant Homeownership" (Housing Policy Debate, vol. 12, no. 1, 2001), David Listokin & Barbara Listokin
indicate Asian Americans face interrelated barriers of economic resources, language & cultural differences, and "overt discrimination & exploitation."
Respondingly, AAFE - founded to fight housing discrimination in 1974 - provides counseling & community services, housing development & management,
& homeownership assistance (Urban Research Monitor, September/October, 2001:1-2).
- Maryland Law Outlawing Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Goes Into Effect November 21st. The court fight ended when
TakeBackMaryland.org agreed it did not have sufficient signatures to force a 2002 referendum. With this, Maryland becomes the 12th State and the District
of Columbia, to ban such discrimination. Governor Glendening commented, "The people of Maryland, reflecting our strong tradition of embracing
diversity, have shown their overwhelming support for our efforts to end bigotry and discrimination in any form." Amen. (Washington Post, November 21,
- Supreme Court to Decide ADA Case on Definition of Disability. On November 7, 2001, the Court heard oral arguments in Toyota Manufacturing
Kentucky Inc. v. Williams, in a dispute over who is protected by the ADA. Ella Williams worked on Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky's assembly line.
Presumably, questions will be answered by the Court such as how serious a limitation has to be to qualify under the law. The National Council on
Disability's amicus brief is at www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/toyota_amicus.html. The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law's amicus is
at:www.bazelon.org/williams.html. This is the first of three important disability cases the Supreme Court will hear this term. (Baltimore Sun, November 8,
- The GBCHRB's State-Wide Fair Housing Education Campaign Continues. Funded by the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development &
targeted at the Eastern Shore as well as southern & western Maryland, the campaign includes distribution of free Fair Housing brochures, self-help guides,
posters, and other information; curriculum development; training; and advocacy. Call the GBCHRB at 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 for free Fair Housing
informational materials, information, and training. Let's work together!
- Despite Gains, Low-Income, Minority, & Immigrant Households Still Need Help to Become Homeowners. A recently-released book, The State of the
Nation's Housing by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (2001), observes that the homeownership rate has risen the fastest for
minority buyers (24% for blacks and 39% for Hispanics) - but still trails the white rate. However, these gains contain their own problems: marginal buyers
are at great risk of default with economic contraction. As housing affordability declines, traditionally underserved households face multiple problems
without adequate skills - or resources (Urban Research Monitor, September/October, 2001:1-2).
DID YOU KNOW?
Manufactured Housing Is Increasingly the Choice of Homebuyers, & They Are Not Trailers! In 2000, one in six single-family
housing starts was some type of manufactured housing. Such housing includes factory-built residential units built after 1976 according
to the HUD code; "modular homes" are similar but are built according to state & local codes. A "mobile home" was built before 1976
& the HUD code; a "trailer" is a temporary shelter which can be towed behind a vehicle. A very useful article is: "Manufactured
Housing," by the U. S. Treasury's Office of Thrift Supervision, Community Liaison (September, 2001):4-5.
FAIR HOUSING RESOURCES
- Neighbor Net is an Interesting Free ListServ About Local Doings. Subscribe by sending an email to www.groups.yahoo.com and join, selecting
Neighbor Net as a group, or you can email the List Steward at email@example.com.
- The ACORN News is Another Excellent Free ListServ - And a very good place to find out about ACORN's advocacy work in Baltimore and other
communities. To subscribe to ACORN's email list send an Email with only the words "subscribe acornupdates" in the body of the message
- It's Worth It to Join the League of Women Voters Just For Its Newsletter! By joining a local affiliate, you get the local's informative newsletter,
theState Board Letter, and the excellent national organization's The Voter. All are great resources for local, state, regional, and national activities, readings,
and much more. The national's website (www.lwv.org) has a wealth of info, including a listing of local officials, important legislation, today's House &
Senate schedule, and much more. Help the League continue its work for all of us. Contact the LWV's Baltimore City & Baltimore County offices at
- TV Worth Watching!?! Local! Community, Improvements, Housing, Neighborhoods, Living, People, Rights! The GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat
is on various cable-TV stations. The 30-minute interview show runs on Channel 5 & 8 in Baltimore City, 99 in Anne Arundel County, 71 in Baltimore
County, 3 in Carroll, and 3 & 7 in Harford! Call us at 410-453-9500 or the stations for the show's days and times!
Policing the Poor: From Slave Plantation to Public Housing. Neil Wedsdale. Boston: Northeastern University, October, 2001. 278pp.
$22.50 pbk. Websdale, a criminal justice prof at Northern Arizona University, argues that years of racist behavior toward blacks have resulted in a
"rigorous social quarantining, social stigma, and stringent surveillance." The study is based on an ethnographic investigation conducted at the
Edgehill projects of Nashville, Tennessee.
Don't Forget! Still in Print & Definitely Worth Reading!
Sharing America's Neighborhoods: The Prospects for Stable Racial Integration. Ingrid G. Ellen. Cambridge: Harvard University, 2001.
240pp. $42.00. An interesting, learned argument that government intervention is needed to promote the stability of racially-integrated
As Long As They Don't Move Next Door: Segregation and Racial Conflict in American Neighborhoods. Stephen G. Meyer. Rowman &
Littlefield, 2000. 354pp. $29.95. A sobering litany of the multi-sided complexities of racial integration - and the determined, vociferous
resistance to it.
Upcoming & Interesting:
Race, Housing and Social Exclusion. Peter Somerville & Andy Steele, eds. Jessica Kingsley Publications: December, 2001.
Race, Real Estate, and Uneven Development: The Kansas City Experience, 1900-2000. Kevin F. Gotham. State University of New York: July, 2002.
REST IN PEACE
Bea Gaddy, Advocate for the Poor, 68. Famous for her Thanksgiving dinners, Gaddy overcame poverty and hardship to become a City Councillor and
prodder of the powerful. Her leadership, kindness, & stamina were formidable, as she advocated for the poor and East Baltimore. (Baltimore Sun, October 4,
Norman Granz, the "Soul of Jazz," 83. Granz broke down racial barriers in the 1940s, integrating musical groups and audiences. He insisted black and
white performers be given equal treatment in pay and accommodations, refused bookings at segregated venues, and canceled at the hint of discrimination.
(Washington Post, November 28, 2001:C01)
Stanley S. Herr, Advocate for the Mentally Disabled, 56. Herr, a University of Maryland Law Professor, helped write the 1989 Maryland law prohibiting
executions of mentally retarded criminals & was instrumental in the 1972 Mills v. District of Columbia case establishing the right to a public education for
children with disabilities. (Baltimore Sun, September 25, 2001:5B)
Mike Mansfield, Senator & Diplomat, 98. As Senate Majority Leader in 1964, Mansfield was key in breaking the Southern-led filibuster to pass the
landmark Civil Rights Act. He spent 24 years representing Montana in the Senate, 10 years in the House, and 11 years as U. S. ambassador to Japan. The son
of poor Irish immigrants, Mansfield "believed deeply in the ability of free people to govern themselves wisely," according to current Senate Majority Leader
Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). (Baltimore Sun, October 6, 2001:3A)