Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) February, 2002 / Vol. 8, No. 1
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.
- Visitability Advances.New homes in a fast-growing Chicago suburb will have to be built so that they are more accessible to people
in wheelchairs, with wider doorways, lower light switches and other such features. The City Council adopted the standards in a 7-1
vote, the same day a similar measure was approved in Pima County, Arizona. The Naperville measure extends the visitability
standards required in public housing to private, single-family homes. ("Visitability" standards make it possible for people with
disabilities to visit others.) (Baltimore Sun, February 7, 2002:11A)
- Black Owners' Houses Worth 30% Less than Whites; Segregation Is the Cause. A Brookings Institution study by David Rusk released
in November, 2001, has found a significant gap between the home values of blacks and whites in the Baltimore region. This gap exists even
when considering differences in income. Black houses are worth 30% less than whites in our metro, according to the study "The Segregation
Tax: The Cost of Racial Segregation to Black Homeowners." The gap shows a weak "wealth creation" for blacks that has serious
implications. While black homeownership has increased significantly in the past 20 years, the lack of appreciation of the value of their homes
has made it much more difficult to build equity - the major source of wealth for most Americans. The situation in the Baltimore area is
very bad by national standards. The gap is the fourth highest among all the USA's largest metro areas. Only Harrisburg (33%), Philadelphia (39%), and Detroit (43%), had larger gaps between blacks and whites; the national gap was 18%. In 10 metros blacks' values exceeded whites, including Tulsa, New Orleans, & San Francisco; in each, the level of racial segregation was comparatively low. (www.brook.edu/es/urban/publications) The Baltimore City Council's Committee on Housing, Health, and Environment, is holding a hearing on this subject on February 27th.
- One of the Longest Prison Sentences - 64 months - Given Man Who Flipped Dozens of Houses & Laundered Money Through Cayman Islands
Accounts. Included in the scheme were multiple aliases, arson to obtain insurance, & various legal document falsification. Let's hope these penalties deter
others. (Balt. Sun, February 8, 2002:3B)
- Impact of Montgomery County's Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance Lauded But Analysis Finds Challenges Ahead. A Brookings
Institution study of inclusionary zoning in the Washington area released in October, 2001, has found very positive results from
Montgomery County's inclusionary zoning ordinance (MPDU), including increased affordable housing and enhanced racial residential
integration. Enacted in 1974, the County's MPDU ordinance is the oldest inclusionary zoning program in the country. In practice,
the study found affordable units tend to be smaller and have fewer amenities than market-rate units located within the same
development, almost ensuring affordable units will have lower rents and resale prices than market-rate units. However, existing
housing market conditions and the desirable location of these units usually raises rents and home prices. It also was found inclusionary zoning has promoted
economic integration throughout these counties by spreading the affordable units (and low- and moderate-income households) throughout the jurisdictions.
In the process, this has also advanced racial integration. The study also found several challenges threaten the progress made to date. www.brook.edu
- Study Finds Low Level of Enforcement of Baltimore County's "Handicapped" Parking Law. A study by the Baltimore Sun
found only 13% of offenders who fought tickets in court paid a fine - only 2% paid the full $77.00. In response, the County's
Commission on Disabilities has suggested sensitivity training for judges. Let's hope the training is done - and the judges truly enforce
the law. (Baltimore Sun, January 6, 2002:B1)
- Census Study Assesses Growth in City Families and Suburban Change. A study released in February, 2002, by the University of Michigan & Brookings
Institution found growing cities are adding population faster than households; declining cities are losing population faster than households. Singles make up a
larger portion of suburban households than married couples with children. Suburbs of the Northeast and Midwest regions had the bulk of their growth in
nonfamily and single-parent households. The fastest-growing cities had increasing numbers of married couples, including those with children, among their
resident and new-arrival populations. Baltimore had the fifth highest central city population decline, and experienced a more rapid decline in population than
in households. The problems accompanying the population losses were muted to some extent by the slower declines in households. This pattern of faster
population decline than household decline indicates that these cities lost, on net, larger families at higher rates than smaller families & single-person
households. The relatively large number of elderly residents in these cities also suggests that their faster population decreases may have occurred in part as a
result of deaths in existing family households. (www.brook.edu)
- Credit Unions More Likely to Discriminate Says Study. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition conducted a two year study of the
lending trends of NCUA member lenders compared to lenders subject to the Community Reinvestment Act and all lenders reporting Home
Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data. NCUA lenders consistently lagged behind CRA-covered lenders and those in home purchase loans to
minority and low-and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers, as well as to residents of minority and LMI neighborhoods. Even when NCRC
expanded its study to include all single-family loans it found the same poor results for the credit unions. (National Fair Housing Advocate,
February 2, 2002)
Rosa Parks was honored February 4th at an event celebrating her 89th birthday and the premiere of a movie about her life. The
stars of the made-for-TV movie, "Ride to Freedom: The Rosa Parks Story" (which will air on CBS February 24), spoke briefly before the
event, then surrounded Parks as she was presented with a birthday cake. Parks, then a seamstress in Montgomery, was headed home when
she was arrested for refusing to give her bus seat to a white person; her arrest led to the Montgomery bus boycott.
(www.rosaparksinstitute.org). (Wash. Post, Feb. 8, 2002)
- 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.
DID YOU KNOW?
HUD Has Published a Report on Faith-Based Organizations in Community Development. The report has a literature review and
interviews with key figures. Get a copy for $5.00 from HUD User at 800-245-2691 or www.huduser.org.
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 21 & 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!
Semites and Anti-Semites: An Inquiry into Conflict and Prejudice. by Bernard Lewis. New York: W. W. Norton, 1999. 295 pp. $14.00. pbk.
Lewis writes a persuasive and detailed account of the rise of anti-Semitism in the Arab world. He credits its emergence to European influences, charts
the collaboration between Arab nationalism and Nazism and the growth of anti-Semitic tracts following 1948.
Koreans in the Hood: Conflict with African Americans. Kwang Chung Kim, ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ., 1999. 250 pp. $48. cloth.
This analysis of Black-Korean conflict in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, shows Koreans & Blacks are caught in a cycle of race-based
competition, misunderstanding, and often violence.
Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age. by Alan M. Dershowitz. Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 2002. 550 pp. $26.95.
Interesting, wide-ranging essays by the Harvard Law prof, including censorship, death penalty, judges, & national emergencies.
Readings for Diversity and Social Justice: An Anthology on Racism, Sexism, Anti-Semitism, Heterosexism, Classism, and Ableism. by
Maurianne Adams (editor), et. al. RoutledgeFalmer, 2000. 496 pp. $29.95. pbk. A reader, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice covers
racism, sexism, Anti-Semitism, heterosexism, classism and ableism. Each thematic section has three divisions: Contexts; Personal Voices; and Next
Steps and Action.
Social Psychology of Prejudice. by Melinda Jones. Prentice-Hall, 2001. 240 pp. $44.67. pbk. An examination of prejudice and
discrimination against various stigmatized groups, it reviews what is currently known about how their members respond to
prejudice, & examines strategies at the individual, group, and societal levels for reducing prejudice. Chapter topics treat racism, sexism, and anti-gay prejudice; values; stereotyping and categorization; individual differences in prejudice; inter-group relations; and stigma and identity.
REST IN PEACE
Theodore M. Alexander, Sr., Activist, 92. During the Montgomery bus boycott, Alexander got Lloyd's of London insurance for the cars used to drive
Blacks who boycotted the city buses. White business owners had canceled the auto insurance policies; Alexander is credited with keeping the boycott alive.
(Crisis, January/February, 2002:14)
Ellen Pinter, Activist, 85. A life-long worker for "the underdog & world peace," Mrs. Pinter was secretary to the Congress of Industrial Organizations in the
late 1930s when steel workers fought to unionize. Her social activism included the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, the Southeast
Community Organization, and anti-war protests. She also marched for civil rights and women's rights. As a long-time friend said, "She was the salt of the earth,
and a dear, dear person. (Balt. Sun, January 8, 2002:4B)