Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) December, 2003 / Vol. 9, No. 6

FAIR HOUSING NEWS

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


WINTER GREETINGS!

The GBCHRB wishes you and your family a Happy Holidays! 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: http://www.gbchrb.org.

IN THE NEWS

National Study Finds Racial Inequalities in Home Lending Rates Not Due to Lower Credit Scores . The National Community Reinvestment Corporation study of 10 cities found in Baltimore 11% more residents in predominantly black neighborhoods got subprime refinancing loans that those in all-white areas - even with similar credit scores and home values. Seniors also were treated unequally, as those over 65 had 13% more subprime loans than those in neighborhoods with fewer people over 65 years. Previous studies by the NCRC and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) have found minorities were significantly more likely to be rejected for loans or receive higher cost loans, but could not conclude that the reason was because they had lower credit scores. This study shows discrimination is the cause. (The Daily Record, December 11, 2003)

Are You Ready for the "Edgeless City"? According to Lang & LeFurgy in the latest issue of Housing Policy Debate, the majority of office space not in downtowns is now in mostly isolated office buildings spread across distant ribbons of the outer metro. Their purview of 13 of the nation's largest office markets revealed the emergence of a development pattern that never reaches the scale, density, or cohesiveness of "Edge Cities," popularized by Joel Garreau's Edge City: Life on the New Frontier. The authors also briefly examine policy implications, including the extremely negative impact on environmental/land us, preservation of open space, public transportation, etc. (Housing Policy Debate, Vol. 14, 3:427-460)

Examination of Section 8 Program in Alameda County Discovers Suburban-Bound Voucher Families Flourish. Varady and Walker interviewed 300 Section 8 voucher recipients who moved from the inner-city, and found few of the movers had adjustment problems with neighbors or landlords, and their children easily adjusted to their new schools. Many however had difficulty in their housing search. (Housing Policy Debate, Vol. 14, No. 3:347-382)

Covering Up Prejudice is Physically Tiring, Study Finds. The study by Jennifer Richeson of Dartmouth College reported in November's Nature Neuroscience found racially biased people take longer to do tasks requiring a conscious effort to control their racial responses. After utilizing the Implicit Association Test to identify racial attitudes, the researchers had volunteers match words traditionally associated with black and white American names. The also had the volunteers then do other tests, revealing the impact that bias has on attention and performance. (The Economist, November 22, 2003:78)

Trial Begins on ACLU Lawsuit Alleging Continuing Racial Bias by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. In early testimony, the ACLU's attorney said public housing families are as racial isolated as they were 50 years ago, and race-poverty expert John A. Powell testified there was a pattern of City and HUD officials giving in to white complaints about public housing siting. The City Solicitor said Baltimore officially stopped segregation after the 1954 Supreme Court decision, and subsequent City actions were aimed at community improvement rather than discrimination. A Justice Department lawyer representing HUD argued that HUD has "made a clean break with its past." The trial is being held by U. S. District Court Judge Marvin J. Garbis, with a ruling expected in January, 2004. (Baltimore Sun, December 2, 2003:3B)

Series on Civil Rights Begun by The Afro-American. To honor the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, The Afro began a series in its November 22-28 issue with an article on the Maryland test case that challenged "separate but equal." There will follow additional articles on the significant historical events as well as contributions by Black attorneys in the struggle for equal rights. (The Afro-American, November 22-28, 2003:A1)





The Baltimore City and County League of Women Voters Celebrated the Anniversary of the First Women's Rights Convention in 1850. The Leagues presented a history readers play at the Maryland State League Convention in October. The 1850 meeting in Worcester, Massachusetts, was led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who declared all men "and women" are created equal and advocated that women have the right to vote. (The Maryland Voter, Fall, 2003:1)





DID YOU KNOW?



The Bazelon Center Has Released Updates to Its Excellent Fair Housing Resources for People with Disabilities. The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has released 2003 versions of its 52-page What Does "Fair Housing" Mean for People with Disabilities? and its 94-page Digest of Cases and Other Resources in Fair Housing for People with Disabilities, with 50 new cases. The cost of the booklet is $4 and the Digest is $13.50. To order: 202-467-5730 / www.bazelon.org.

Study of How Baltimore Moved Toward Racial Integration Re-Published by Maryland Historical Society. Edgar L. Jones' Toward Equality, a yearly chronology of Baltimore between 1946 and 1962, was originally published by the Sidney Hollander Foundation. Info: 410-685-3750 / www.mdhs.org.

Contact the GBCHRB for FREE Fair Housing Informational Brochures & Posters. Also, copies of the GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat are available in digital format, and will soon be on our website! If interested, telephone the GBCHRB at 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 / mail@gbchrb.org for free copies.

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!



INTERESTING BOOKS

The Life of Benjamin Banneker. Second Edition, Revised and Expanded. By Silvio A. Bedini. 480 pp. $35.00. Interesting biography published by the Maryland Historical Society. Members pay $22.75.

The Many Costs of Racism. By Joe R. Feagin & Karyn D. McKinney. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. 250 pp. $24.95. Well-documented details on the extensive financial, psychological, and personal losses that stem from the continuing racism in American social life.

REST IN PEACE

The Rev. Robert L. Zoerheide, Advocate & Unitarian Minister, 89. Minister of Baltimore's First Unitarian Church (1978-1985), Zoerheide pushed for racial integration and harmony. He attacked in 1963 the "polite prejudice of the North," challenging clergy to integrate their houses of worship, to get their congregations to work for better housing, jobs, and education for African-Americans. He told the Washington Post: "In face of these basic and stubborn problems, this is no time to sit on the meager laurels of token public accommodations and integrated education." (Baltimore Sun, Nov. 4, 2003:5B)