Greater Baltimore

Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB)                                    June-July, 2004 / Vol.10, No. 3

 

 

FAIR HOUSING NEWS

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

 

                                               

SUMMER 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: http://www.gbchrb.org.  

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

U. S. Justice Department Reaches $3.2 Million Settlement with Bank on Minority Loan Discrimination.  Filed under the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, this was the first Justice lawsuit involving discrimination against small, minority businesses.  The Detroit-area bank, Old Kent Bank (acquired by Fifth Third Bancorp), "redlined" Detroit, avoiding making any residential or business loans during 1996-2000.  A 2002 study found African-American businesses were denied credit over 2 ½ times White's rates, with Hispanics and Asians denied at double the rate.  (Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2004:A4)

 

Court Finds Economic Accommodations Are Required for Disabled Renters.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that housing providers must make an accommodation to income requirements if that would permit a disabled person to Fair Housing choice.  The Court ruled that because the income of a California man with HIV/AIDS was directly related to his disability, and his mother had agreed to co-sign the lease, he should be allowed to occupy an apartment.  The case was Giebler v. M & B Associates, Case No. 00-17508 (9th Cir.), with the Appeal argued 2/12/02 & filed 9/15/03.  (National Fair Housing Advocate, March/April, 2004:2)

 

HUD's 2000 Housing Discrimination Study Finds Some Lessening of Disparate Treatment.  Significant decreases were found in discrimination against Hispanics and African-Americans in home buying.  However, this downward trend was reversed for Hispanic renters, now experiencing higher discrimination rates than African-American renters.  Asian-Pacific Islander renters experienced adverse treatment 21.5% of the time, roughly the same as for African-Americans and Hispanics.  Native Americans had adverse treatment 28.5%.  Asian-Pacific Islander home buyers faced discrimination 20.4% of the time - particularly in housing availability, inspections, financing assistance, and agent encouragement.  In the Baltimore MSA, black renters faced consistent adverse treatment 17.1% of the time.  Black home buyers in Baltimore MSA were subject to adverse treatment 12.1% of the time, especially in the area of "encouragement:" White testers were less likely to be asked to complete an application than black testers.  The data is available for download at http://www.huduser.org/publications/hsgfin/hds.html or in printed form at 800-245-2691. (HUDUSERlistserv@huduser.org, June 18, 2004)

                                                                                   

Study Finds HUD Housing Mobility Policy Improves Health of Residents.  Just published in Housing Policy Debate - Vol. 15, no. 1(2004):49-98 - the study by researchers (Acevedo-Garcia et. al., from the Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, and Harvard University found the policy may contribute to improving the health of adults and children.  The authors largely agree with Leventhal and Brooks-Gunn's claim that "the most significant benefits of the MTO program were noneconomic" (page 81).  They concluded that the strongest evidence for positive health impact are from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) demonstration and the Yonkers evaluation of scattered-site public housing.

           

In 2004, the Nation's Schools are Almost as Segregated as in 1954.  As part of Crisis magazine's excellent coverage of the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, Leland Ware cites statistics showing that in many school districts the level of segregation is higher than in 1968.  Baltimore's change was almost negligible.  In 1968, Baltimore had a 86.8 segregation level according to the Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research of the State University of New York at Albany.  In 2000, the score had declined slightly to 79.9.  Lani Guinier concludes: "Brown failed because it didn't address the fundamental problem of the way race is so deeply rooted in the narrative of our society.  The decision was an example of very creative lawyering, but also an example of the problem of relying on litigation to address problems relating to social and economic structures, not just the law" (page 43).

 

Slow Progress Found in Moving Disabled Into Private Homes.  Timothy Westmoreland, a Georgetown law prof speaking at a forum assessing the impact of Olmstead v. L.C., said, "About three-fifths of the states have made progress.  But that means the other two-fifths haven't even put together a plan.  Few have significantly improved services."  Advocates said that home-care services and alternative housing are often cheaper than hospitalization, making de-institutionalization a money saver for cash-pressed states.  (Baltimore Sun, June 24, 2004:11A)

 

HUD Creates a National Fair Housing Training Academy to Strengthen Enforcement of Fair Housing Laws and Curb Housing Discrimination.  HUD Fair housing officials unveiled plans to strengthen enforcement of the laws by requiring discrimination investigators to satisfactorily complete 200 hours of advanced training in theory and techniques. The courses will cover such topics as case management, civil rights laws and legal updates, compliance testing and monitoring, and investigation and conciliation. (http://www.hud.gov/news/release.cfm?content=pr04-055.cfm)

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?                   

                       

The Urbanite is a Smart, Informative, & Free Publication About Baltimore.  Published every other month by Tracy Ward Durkin, The Urbanite is a mix of reporting, history, photography, poetry, and urban potpourri.  The May/June issue contains several interesting articles about Baltimore immigration, the Patterson Park neighborhood, and much more.  Contact: www.urbanitebaltimore.com or telephone 410-243-2050.

 

The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance is committed to promoting, supporting and making better decisions for improving the quality of life in Baltimore.  Originally funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Alliance produces Vital Signs, a compendium of data about neighborhood quality of life.  Check out their website at www.bnia.org. 

 

Strategies to Deal with Abandoned Property are Reviewed in the current issue of Housing Facts & Findings.  Volume 6, number 2 (2004) is obtainable from the Fannie Mae Foundation at www.fanniemaefoundation.org or www.knowledgeplex.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.

 

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

 

The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class Are Undermining the American Dream.  Sheryll Cashin.  PublicAffairs, 2004.  320 pp.  $26.00.  Cashin, a Georgetown law prof, argues that our enduring segregation is the product of public and private choices, including exclusionary zoning, federal mortgage insurance, and urban redevelopment.  She advocates a directed fight against housing discrimination and segregation - as well as housing mobility programs, home ownership incentives for high-poverty areas, requiring new developments to have low-income housing, expanded school choice, and cross-jurisdictional choice.

 

 

REST IN PEACE

 

David Dellinger, Human Rights & Peace Activist, 88.  Dellinger, one of the Chicago Seven arrested & tried for violence connected with the 1968 Democratic National Convention, had a long history of activism.  An evangelical socialist who studied at Union Theological Seminary, he participated in the Civil Rights marches in the South in the 1950s and 1960s, and worked for unions in the 1930s despite being called a Communist.  During World War II, while a conscientious objector, Dellinger protested the practice of putting black soldiers in the back of trains ahead of defeated Germans.  During a prison term, he refused to sit in the all-white dining area.  He wrote several books, including the autobiographical From Yale to Jail: The Life Story of a Moral Dissenter.   (CNN.com; Baltimore Sun, May 27, 2004:11A)

 

Sarah Betsy Fuller, Activist Attorney, 58.  Fuller was the lead attorney in the federal case establishing the right of Native Americans to practice their religion in New York state prisons.  Long a lawyer with Prisoners Legal Services of New York, she helped expose the State's severe treatment of giving some prisoners only bread and water, and helped eliminate some strip search practices.  (Baltimore Sun, June 19, 2004:4B)