FAIR HOUSING NEWS

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

(c) 2003, Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) October-November, 2003 / Vol. 9, No. 5


FALL GREETINGS!

Contact us for a free copy of any mentioned article or a free subscription to 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

The National Council of Churches Announced its Support of a New Campaign by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) to Fight Housing Discrimination. The multimedia campaign is intended to remind people that housing discrimination is illegal. Together with HUD, the National Fair Housing Alliance, and the Ad Council, the LCCR also began on August 11, 2003, a new website for renters and homebuyers: www.fairhousinglaw.org. This site contains copies of various posters, the laws, radio and video PSAs in English and Spanish, and other materials. The LCCR was founded in 1950 by A. Philip Randolph, head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Roy Wilkins of the NAACP; and Arnold Aronson, a leader of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council. (Eculink, Fall, 2003:2)

Maryland's Hispanic Population Grew Rapidly During 2000-2002 with Increases Mostly in the Washington Suburbs. Some 24,011 of the 28,594 increase occurred in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, where approximately 70% of Hispanics reside in the State. Hispanics also increased in Baltimore City (11,081 to 11,511), Baltimore County (13,774 to 14,981), and Anne Arundel County (12,902 to 13,490). There are now 256,510 Hispanics and just less than 240,000 Asians in Maryland, which had a total population in 2002 of 5,458,137. Incidentally, roughly one-third of the State's Asian population lives in Montgomery County, and a third in Prince George's, Baltimore, and Howard counties. (Baltimore Sun, September 18, 2003:1B)

ACORN Study Finds Blacks Rejected for Mortgage Loans 3 times More Than Whites in Baltimore. The study of 2002 HMDA data found the Black mortgage rejection rate was the 9th highest of the 115 regions studied. Blacks were rejected 21.1% of the time whereas only 6.1% of white applications were rejected. Upper-income blacks were rejected over three times as often as upper-income whites, and almost twice as often as moderate-income whites. (Baltimore Sun, October 17, 2003:1C)

According to New Data Released by the FBI, the Number of Reported Hate Crimes Decreased from a Record-High 9,726 in 2001 to 7,462 in 2002 (A 23.3 Percent Decrease). However, of the 12,073 Law Enforcement Agencies Reporting, Only 1,868 or 15.5% Reported Having Any Hate Crimes, Casting Grave Doubts on the Accuracy of the Data. The 7,462 hate crime incidents reported to the FBI in 2002 involved 8,832 separate offenses, 9,222 victims, and 7,314 known offenders. Racial bias was the largest percentage of bias-motivated incidents (48.8%), followed by religion (19.1%), sexual orientation (16.7 %), ethnicity (14.8%), and disability (0.6%). Of the 7,462 incidents, 5,960 were crimes against persons, 2,823 were crimes against property, and the remaining were against society. Anti-black bias was the leading racial motivation, with 2,486 incidents (33.3% of all hate crimes), and anti-male homosexual bias was the most common sexual orientation motivation, with 825 (11.1% of all hate crimes). (www.civilrights.org, October 29, 2003)

Approximately 10,000 Attend August 28, 2003 40th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom With the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech. The March led to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Martin Luther King, III, Rev. King's son, commented: "Components of the dream have been realized, but the entire vision of freedom, justice, and equality for all humankind has not." Rally speakers included Julian Bond, NAACP chair, and Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia). (Baltimore Sun, August 23, 2003:4A)

Study Finds Maryland is the Fifth Most Expensive State to Rent a Home & Costs Are Rising Faster Than Anywhere Else. In Maryland, a salary of almost $19.00 an hour is needed to afford a two-bedroom market-rate apartment without spending over 30% of their income; the national average is $15.21. This represented a 12% increase since last year. The National Low Income Housing Coalition conducted the national study, "Out of Reach 2003." (Baltimore Sun, September 9, 2003:1C)

The Number of Kids Living in Distressed Neighborhoods Increased Substantially in the 1990s, According to Annie Casey Foundation Study. The study by the Baltimore-based Foundation and the Population Reference Bureau found an increase in Maryland from 34,448 to 47,205, or from 3.0% to 3.5% of the State's 1.36 million kids. A neighborhood was considered distressed if it had high rates of poverty, high school dropouts, female-headed families, and jobless males. Some 42,271 of these kids lived in the Baltimore metro - 6.6% of the metro's kids. In the Baltimore metro, 1 in 5 Black children lived in a distressed neighborhood compared to 1 in 200 white kids. (Baltimore Sun, September 23, 2003:1B)

Study Finds Predominantly Black Upper-Income Residential Areas Have Lower Access to Shopping & Services Than Similar White Areas. Amy Helling & David S. Sawicki examined the 10-county Atlanta region, and found Black residents are more likely to have to go outside their neighborhood for restaurants, groceries, or movies. The lack of such accessibility reduces the neighborhood quality and housing value of the Black areas. ("Race and Residential Accessibility to Shopping and Services," Housing Policy Debate, vol. 14, no. 1:69-101).

Arizona Group Home Operator Receives $530,334 Settlement from City of Sedona for Discrimination. Recovery Alternatives, which provides housing for people in recovery from substance abuse, had its legal permits denied as Sedona's codes effectively barred housing for people with disabilities. Under the settlement, brought by the Arizona Center for Disability Law, Sedona will also revise its codes. (National Fair Housing Advocate, August, 2003:2)

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 includes distribution of free Fair Housing brochures, self-help guides, posters, and other information; curriculum development; training; and advocacy. Call 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 for free Fair Housing informational materials, information, and training.

DID YOU KNOW?

Contact the GBCHRB for Free Fair Housing Brochures, Posters, Guides. Brochures are available in English, Spanish, Korean, and Russian.; we also have a brochure for people with disabilities. Telephone us at 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 for free copies.

TV Worth Watching!?! Local! Community, Improvements, Housing, Neighborhoods, Living, People, Rights! The GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat, a 30-minute interview cable-TV show with Dr. Bill Kladky, GBCHRB Administrator, runs on Channel 2 & 5 in Baltimore City, 99 in Anne Arundel County, 71 in Baltimore County, 3 in Carroll, 71 in Howard, and 3 & 7 in Harford! In the photo to the left, Martha Dickey & Tara Letwinsky of the Maryland Commission on Human Relations prepare to tape a show on Fair Housing and mediation with Bill on October 30th. Call us at 410-453-9500 or the stations for the show's days and times!

INTERESTING BOOKS

Got My Mind Set On Freedom: Maryland's Story of Black & White Activism, 1663-2000. by Barbara Mills. Heritage Books, 2002. 700 pp. $44.00. This examination of employment, public accommodations, education, and housing by the CORE activist and officer is highlighted by many illustrations and the author's personal accounts of her involvement in many of the events.

REST IN PEACE

Arthur Kinoy, Civil Rights Attorney, 82. Active in the Civil Rights Movement in the South, Kinoy argued many cases regarding injustice and inequality. In 1960, he defended an African-American man in Alabama who had been wrongfully accused of raping a white woman. While at Rutgers University Law School, Kinoy helped found the Center for Constitutional Rights in 1966 - which is still using litigation to change laws to better protect the poor and disadvantaged. (www.civilrights.org, Oct. 28, 2003)

Joshua R. Wheeler, Baltimore County School Superintendent & Equality Advocate, 88. Wheeler was Baltimore County school superintendent from 1970 to 1976. He won praise for recruiting black teachers, emphasizing minority education, and was the first County superintendent with a black administrator on staff. (Balt. Sun, Oct. 16, 2003:6B)