Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board (GBCHRB) - Fall, 1997, V. 3, N. 2


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


    Please send comments to Bill Kladky, GBCHRB Administrator, at 410-453-9500. For a free copy of any article mentioned here or to add others to our mailing list, let us know.


Interested in neighborhoods, human rights, housing, and community development? If so, then check out the show!!


    Federal Government data released on August 3, 1997, indicates Blacks and Hispanics are rejected for mortgages at a much higher rate than Whites. Minorities continue to be rejected at twice the rate of non-minorities, controlling for income. 48.8% of African-American, 34.4% Hispanic were rejected compared to 24.4% of Whites. (National Fair Housing Advocate, September, 1997:3)

    There will be a Healing Divisions in Baltimore County: Racism and Ethnicity forum on Wednesday, January 15, 1998, 7:00-8:30 p.m., sponsored by the Concerned Religious Leaders of Baltimore County. Dr. Ronald Walters, nationally-known expert on race relations and Howard University/University of Maryland College Park professor, will be the keynote speaker. Free to the public, the Forum will be held at Mount Olive Baptist Church, 816 York Road, Towson. For more information, contact the Reverend Frederick Weimert (410-825-3360) or Bill Kladky (410-453-9500).

    September 25th was the 40th anniversary of the 1957 desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Arkansas chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. called the celebration hypocritical because of widespread racial segregation, hate crimes, and racial disharmony. (The Economist, September 27, 1997:28-29)

    The national home ownership rate rose to a record 66% of all families in September, 1997. While minorities and women have "fueled" the recent home-buying boom, their overall rates remain much less. There are 67.6 million American households who own homes. The median price is $123,700 for existing homes and $144,700 for new homes. Sales of existing homes fell 2% from 1996. (Recent Research Results, September, 1997:3; Wall Street Journal, October 24, 1997:A2)

    The Washington, D. C.-based Coalition for Nonprofit Housing Development delayed the approval of First Union Corporation's $3.25 billion stock purchase of Signet Financial Corporation because of First Union's lending record. The Coalition cited the bank's poor record of lending to low and moderate-income areas and diminished charitable contributions. While the acquisition is fully expected to be approved, the Coalition hopes that the delay will inspire First Union to improve its performance. (Washington Post Business, November 10, 1997:9)

    A third of all homeless men in shelters are veterans. According to a survey by the International Union of Gospel Missions, most are combat veterans from the Korean, Vietnam, or Persian Gulf wars. Some 42% of the homeless veterans were Vietnam veterans. (Baltimore Sun, November 9, 1997:14A)

    The first White House Conference on Hate Crimes was held on November 10, 1997. President Clinton urged an expansion of federal hate-crime laws to include more potential victims, harsher penalties, and better record keeping. A plan is pending by Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Massachusetts) and Republican Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania) to make it illegal to injure someone because s/he is gay, has a disability, or is a member of the opposite sex. (Baltimore Sun, November 11, 1997:6A)

    National Hispanic Heritage Month was September 15 - October 15. Established by President Lyndon B. Johnson to highlight the accomplishments and contributions of Hispanic Americans, the Month was celebrated by a number of conferences and poetry readings in Baltimore. (Office of the Mayor of Baltimore, September, 1997)


    A study finds that Welfare dependence can be cut - at a high price. It was found that the six-year-old program helped some, but had a failure rate of 62% and a cost of $16,000 per participant. They found that two years was insufficient for participants to gain necessary educational and employment skills. The report is available from HUD User (1-800-245-2691) for $5. (Recent Research Results, September, 1997:1,3)

    Regional political alliances based on well-identified common interests between cities and low-income inner suburbs can be powerful, according to Minnesota Rep. Myron Orfield. Orfield, who spoke at a November CPHA forum, argues in Metro Politics: A Regional Agenda for Community and Stability (Washington, D. C.: Brookings, 1997) that cross-jurisdictional coalitions can be formed around regional tax-sharing.

    While suburban migration is likely to continue, target marketing can attract suburbanites to central-city housing. A study has found that central city to suburban movement is continuing and will likely continue (Kasarda, et. al., Housing Policy Debate 8,2:307-358). Lang, et. al., argue that "suburban urbanites" can be lured back to the city by higher standards of privacy and security and off-street parking (Ibid.:437-465).

    Resources to help gay and lesbian students face substantial harassment and discrimination: The Human Rights Campaign, 202-628-4160,; Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians & Gays, 202-638-4200, (Teaching Tolerance, Fall, 1997:29)

   Impressed by the rich's big gifts to charity? Lessening economic inequality would be impressive. With $475 million as the bottom of the Forbes roll of the richest, a gift of $1 million equals less than $75 for a median household earning $35,500. While philanthropy is important, reversing the rise in economic inequality is critical. As the Sun reporter concluded, "Paying workers fair wages is a great place to start." (October 5, 1997:7M)

   November 8th marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dorothy Day, uncanonized saint of the homeless. Co-Founder with Peter Maurin of the Catholic Worker movement, Day was a tireless campaigner for human dignity and rights. Her writings - e.g., in The Catholic Worker (still published seven times annually at $0.25/year, 36 East First Street, New York 10003) and autobiography The Long Loneliness (1952) - influence many to work for peace, reconciliation, and justice. (Sojourners, November-December, 1997:13)



    The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development was selected by HUD for the John J. Gunther Blue Ribbon Practices in Community Development Award. Among other citations, DHCD was commended for having one of the best affordable housing programs and creating a local board of homelessness in every rural county. (News and Views, Summer, 1997:2)

    The Baltimore City DHCD and the FannieMae Foundation hosted a very successful home buyers fair on September 27, 1997. With 5,000 in attendance, the fair featured a contest won by five households who received $4,000 to help buy a home. (Housing Press Briefing by Housing Commissioner Daniel P. Henson, III, September 26, 1997)

   If you deal with the public, you need the GBCHRB's A Self-Help Guide to Fair Housing (separate editions for Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Howard County). For free Guides or Fair Housing brochures about laws and rights (including ones for people with disabilities, in Braille, and in Spanish): call the GBCHRB at 410-882-5476.

     The first issue of Baltimore County Today, a quarterly newsletter about faith-based efforts to improve community, was distributed by the Concerned Religious Leaders of Baltimore County. Articles included "The Miracle of a Combined Operation," a look at welfare reform, a legislative discussion, and bulletin board items and resource ideas. For a free copy: 410-825-3360.

   Have you checked out the GBCHRB's radio show? Living in Baltimore is broadcast on "Heaven-600" (600 AM) now every Saturday at 6:00 a.m.


   Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who toiled for the poor of Calcutta, died at 87 on September 5, 1997. At a memorial service, Cardinal James Hickey of Washington said, "We gather in sorrow that we have lost an extraordinary human being who inspired countless people to love and serve the Lord. She wanted nothing from the world except respect for human life and the resources to serve the poor." Let us all continue to carry on the unfinished work.


    Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc.
    P. O. Box 66180
    Baltimore, Maryland 21239-6180

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