Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) April, 2003 / Vol. 9, No. 2

FAIR HOUSING NEWS

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


APRIL IS NATIONAL FAIR HOUSING MONTH!

Did you know that April is National Fair Housing Month? National Fair Housing Month celebrates the passage of The Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status in the sale or rental of housing. In Maryland, Fair Housing Month also celebrates the passage of Article 49-B of the Annotated Code of Maryland prohibiting discrimination in the sale or rental of housing; the State also prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Contact us for a free copy of any mentioned article, a free subscription to Fair Housing News,, 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 website: www.gbchrb.org.

IN THE NEWS

April 4th Was the 35th Anniversary of the Assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As related in numerous histories of the period, the National Fair Housing Act of 1968 was passed in the aftermath of the assassination of Reverend King at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 1968. The assassination also led to riots and mass arrests in many cities, including Baltimore. To NAACP chairman Julian Bond, the day King was shot was "the beginning of the reshaping of King's legacy by erasing the last five years of his life, freezing him in August, 1963. Since his death at the age of 39, King's image as a dreamer has supplanted King the radical opponent of the Vietnam War and economic exploitation of the poor." Bond said history has pushed aside King's anti-war sentiments for the mainstream ones of the Aug. 28, 1963, "I Have A Dream" speech, that he delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to more than 200,000 people attending the March on Washington for equal opportunity. "The dream was five years before he died," said Bond, "We were uncomfortable with those issues when he was alive and still are years after his death." (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 3, 2003)

North Carolina Architects Pay $435,000 to Correct Accessibility Problems at Two Multifamily Developments. In a settlement between the U. S. Department of Justice and Hite/MSM, P.C., the firm must pay to retrofit the units, which were built without required accessibility features. The case originally was brought by the North Carolina Fair Housing Center. (National Fair Housing Advocate, February, 2003:8)

The Housing Rights Center, The Tennessee Fair Housing Council and Apartments.com of Classified Ventures, LLC announced the launch of a joint fair housing education advertising campaign on the Internet. The goal of the "Live Free From Discrimination" campaign is for tenants, applicants for rental housing, and landlords to be aware of federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination in housing. In several display banners prepared by Apartments.com, viewers will be informed that April is Fair Housing Month and can link to the National Fair Housing Advocate Online, maintained by the Tennessee Fair Housing Council - www.fairhousing.com. The fair housing banners will be published on Apartments.com and latimes.com throughout April in recognition of Fair Housing Month (www.fairhousing.com/news_archive/releases/schrc03-31-03.htm).

HUD Begins "Fair Housing News" Newsletter Online. The inaugural issue for April, 2003, contains news about HUD's Fair Housing Month celebrations and some events: http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/library/NewsletterFHM.pdf

The GBCHRB's State-Wide Fair Housing Education Campaign Continues. Funded by the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development & targeted at the Eastern Shore, southern & western Maryland, the campaign distributes Fair Housing brochures & posters; curricula; training; and advocacy. Info: 800-895-6302.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Latest Issue of Fannie Mae's Housing Facts & Findings Focuses on Housing Affordability Strategies. Articles in Volume 5, Number 1 (2003) detail the best state and local strategies, some proven innovative approaches (e.g., inclusionary housing requirements), and resources. For a subscription, contact the Fannie Mae Foundation at 202-274-8000 or check out their informative and excellent web sites:www.fanniemaefoundation.org or www.knowledgeplex.org.

The NoLo Law Center Has an Interesting Section in Its Law Encyclopedia on Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Rental Housing. Its online address is: www.nolo.com/lawcenter/ency/.

Contact the GBCHRB for FREE Fair Housing Informational Brochures & Posters. Telephone the GBCHRB at 410-453-9500 or mail@gbchrb.org for free copies.

The GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat Is on Various Cable-TV Stations. The 30-minute interview show runs on Cable Channel 2 in Baltimore City, 99 in Anne Arundel County, 71 in Baltimore County, 3 in Carroll, 3 & 7 in Harford, and several others! Telephone 410-453-9500 or the stations for the show's days and times.

DATES & TIMES

The Annual HUD Fair Housing Forum Will Be Held on April 22nd in Timonium. On Tuesday, April 22nd, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Select on Greenspring Drive in Timonium, the HUD Baltimore Field Office will hold a free Fair Housing Forum. Presented in cooperation with the Maryland Association of Human Rights Agencies, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, and the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs, topics include rental property code enforcement, tenant screening, and tenant-landlord law. Info: 410-962-2520, extension 3024 or 3012.

INTERESTING BOOKS

Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for Justice. By Ian F. Haney-Lopez. Belknap, 2003. 352pp. $27.95. Interesting history/analysis of the Chicano movement in Los Angeles by a Berkeley law prof.

Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal. By Andrew Hacker. Simon & Schuster, 5th ed., 2003. 288pp. $14.00 pbk. Everyone should read this one, now in a fifth paperback edition.

REST IN PEACE

Jim Donald, Accessibility Advocate, 57. A quadriplegic California attorney, Donald helped lead a review of building standards resulting in regulations making curbs, buses, and other public facilities more accessible. (Baltimore Sun, March 10, 2003:5B)

David E. Feller, Civil Rights Counsel, 86. In the 1950s, Feller advised Thurgood Marshall, then counsel for the NAACP, in legal action against racial segregation in schools. He also helped draft friend-of-the-court briefs in Brown vs. Board of Education, and other civil rights cases. (Baltimore Sun, February 18, 2003:6B)

Edmond D. Jones, Advocate, Administrator, & Former GBCHRB President, 70. Jones was deputy executive director of the New York Urban League and worked for social service departments in Delaware and Baltimore, as well as the Baltimore County Office of Community Conservation. He was President of the GBCHRB from 1989 to 1994. A deeply caring man, he will be missed. (Baltimore Sun, February 25, 2003:5B)

Samuel J. Simmons, HUD's First Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity, 75. From 1969 to 1972, Simmons led the effort to expand housing & economic opportunities for minorities, as well as authored advertising guidelines establishing the now-familiar "Equal Housing Opportunity" logo on real estate ads and sales materials. Simmons also was the Director of Operations for the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, where he enlarged the number of states with commissions.