Greater Baltimore

Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB)                                    April-May, 2004 / Vol.10, No. 1

 

 

FAIR HOUSING NEWS

 

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

 

                       

FAIR HOUSING MONTH GREETINGS!

 

April 11th Celebrated as the 36th Anniversary of the National Fair Housing Act; April is National Fair Housing Month.  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

 

Bias Against Muslims in the U. S. Leaps 70%.  Muslims had over 1,000 incidents of harassment, violence, and discriminatory treatment in 2003, according to a report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).  In the report, the increase was attributed to "Muslim-bashing on radio talk shows and tensions surrounding the war in Iraq."  While most complaints were regarding employment and the refusal to accommodate religious practices, there were 93 reported hate crimes  reported to the CAIR.  Also, there were "numerous cases in which Muslims alleged that laws were applied to them more harshly because of their ethnic or religious identity."  Some 130 of the reported cases were in Maryland, Virginia, and D. C.   Over 130 Muslims said they were victims of discriminatory applications of the law by local and federal authorities; the same number reported racial and religious profiling.  The report's author commented, "We are definitely facing an uphill battle in the struggle for civil rights in this country, especially with regard to the American Muslim community."  (Washington Post, May 3, 2004:A12)

 

New Brookings Institution Study of Racial Integration in the 1990s Finds Mixed Results.  Whites and Blacks became less likely - and Hispanics and Asians more likely - to live in neighborhoods in which their group predominated.  Nine of the 10 studied metro areas (none in Maryland) saw an increase in mixed-race neighborhoods.  The number of predominantly white neighborhoods declined by 30%.  Neighborhoods that became more mixed-race were often suburban but with wide variation with a metro area.  (Brookings Institution, April - http://brookings.edu/urban/publications/20040428_fasenfest.htm)

 

Housing Discrimination is Still "Widespread and Remains Virtually Unchallenged," According to 2004 National Fair Housing Alliance Report.  The Alliance's 2004 Fair Housing Trends Report found that over 25,000 complaints were filed in 2003 but HUD charged only four cases and the Department of Justice charged only six.  (www.civilrights.org, April 13, 2004)

 

Report Finds Surge in the Number of Hate Web Sites For the Young.  The report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center describes over 200 of the 4,000 online hate sites it monitors.  The most common showcase racism, anti-Semitism, and gay bashing.  Some sites actually allow children to "shoot" illegal immigrants, Jews, and Blacks.  (Associated Press / CNN.com, April 21, 2004)                       

 

Foreign-Born Population Surges in Emerging Gateways, Including Washington, D. C.  In the 1990s, the foreign-born population surged 57.4%, especially in 13 southeastern and western states.  Washington, D. C., Atlanta, and Dallas are classified as "emerging gateways" with quick immigrant growth in the past 20 years.  These gateways had both foreign and native-born growth.  It is interesting that more immigrants in metros by 2000 lived in suburbs, especially in gateways.  Recent arrivals tended to come from Asia or Mexico.  In the Baltimore metro, the percent of foreign-born in 2000 is higher in Howard and Baltimore Counties, but rather low in Carroll.  (http://brookings.edu/urban/publications/20040301_gateways.htm)

 

Allstate Insurance Co. Has Lost Its Bid to Stop a Class Action Discrimination Suit Regarding Credit Scoring.  The U. S. Supreme Court denied on April 28, 2004, Allstate's attempt to end the suit by Texas and Florida policyholders claiming that credit scoring unfairly discriminates against minorities by upping their rates and violates Fair Housing Law.  The Court refused to hear an appeal of a 2003 decision by the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The case originally began in November, 2001, with a suit, Jose C. DeHoyos et. al. v. Allstate Corporation, et. al., alleging Allstate - utilizing geographical redlining - raised their auto insurance premiums or put them in a higher-cost subsidiary based on race.  (www.fairhousing.com, released April 28, 2004)

 

Tom Joyner Connie Morella, & Gerald McEntee Honored at Leadership Conference on Civil Rights' Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award Dinner.  Joyner is a radio personality and advocate for civil rights and economic justice.  Morella, former Maryland Congresswoman, is now United States' Permanent Representative to the Organization for Economic Cooperation.  McEntee is the President of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees.  (www.civilrights.org, May 3, 2004)

 

Rochester, NY Developers To Pay $300,000 to Disabled Tenants & Make $2-3 Million in Corrective Repairs.  The consent order settled a HUD investigation, originally stimulated by the Monroe County Legal Assiatnce Fair Housing Enforcement Project.  The Project found the 336-unit complex, Blueberry Hill, had various violations, in the areas of sidewalks, clubhouse, pool, and in individual units (light switches, doorway widths, kitchen and bathroom maneuverability).  The complex's management had refused to allow the complaining tenant - a wheel-chair user - to make repairs.  (National Fair Housing Advocate, Winter 2003-2004:4)

 

HUD Gives Lee Porter its Fair Housing Lifetime Achievement Award.  The executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey is the first recipient of the Samuel J. Simmons award.  Porter, who has led her organization since 1971, was presented the Award on April 23rd.  Her organization has handled thousands of discrimination complaints, been a strong advocate, assisted numerous other organizations, and worked with HUD on various projects.  The Award is named after the first assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at HUD.  (HUD Fair Housing News, vol. 1, issue 2 (2003):1.

                       

 

DID YOU KNOW?                   

 

HUD Will Hold Its Annual National Fair Housing Training Conference & Housing Policy Summit on June 13-18 in Washington, D. C.  The conference at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel provides Fair Housing training and updates to HUD's FHIP and FHAP recipients.  Some sessions are eligible for CLE credits.  Francis D. Raines, CEO of Fannie Mae, is the keynote speaker for the awards dinner on June 16th.  Info & registration: http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/index.cfm.

 

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.

 

HUD Now Publishes a Quarterly Fair Housing News on Its Website.  The newsletter treats major HUD Fair Housing actions, upcoming conferences, and HUD news of note.  And it's free!  Address: http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/library/newsletters.cfm.

 

The GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat TV Show Is on Various Cable Stations.  Hosted by Dr. Bill Kladky, 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

 

Civility in the City: Blacks, Jews, and Koreans in Urban America.  by Jennifer Lee.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002.  $35.00 cloth.  Intriguing fieldwork-based analysis of how merchant life intersects with racial and ethnic relations.

 

Beyond Racism: Race and Inequality in Brazil, South Africa, and the United States. Edited by Charles Hamilton, et. al.  Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001.  $23.50 paper.  Good collection of analyses comparing and contrasting the situations in the three nations.  The conclusion has a number of brief, interesting discussions about possible actions to reduce racial inequality and the chances for success.  No easy answers are offered, but this analysis helps prod the discussion.

 

The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration.  by Carol M. Swain.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.  $30 cloth.  Swain alarmingly suggests that many people support values sympathetic to white nationalist grievances, identified as rejection of racial preferences and other equal opportunity policies. 

 

 

REST IN PEACE

 

Louie Nunn, Kentucky Governor, 80.  While Nunn was Kentucky governor (1967-1971), Kentucky became the first southern state to pass a statewide ban on housing discrimination.  Nunn surprised many when he refused to veto the ban - despite having campaigned against Fair Housing legislation.  In 1968, Nunn ordered to Kentucky National Guard to stop riots from Louisville racial tensions.  (National Fair Housing Advocate, Winter 2003-04:5; Louisville Courier-Journal, Jan. 30, 2004)

 

Dr. Henry Viscardi, Disability Advocate, 91.  Viscardi was the founder of the National Center for Disability Services and an adviser to various presidents.  Eleanor Roosevelt convinced him in 1952 to begin Abilities, Inc., a manufacturing company employing injured World War II veterans.  Viscardi expanded its services to include vocational training and research.  Renamed the National Center for Disability Services in 1991, it is one of the leading educational institutions for youth with severe physical and medical disabilities.  (Balt. Sun, Apr. 19, 2004:6B)