by GREATER BALTIMORE COMMUNITY HOUSING RESOURCE BOARD, INC.
P. O. Box 66180
Baltimore, Maryland 21239-6180
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. A SUMMARY OF THE CITY FAIR HOUSING LAW
A. Who is Covered?
D. Prohibited Acts
E. Fair Housing for Persons with Disabilities
III. HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT
A. Differences between Filing with Baltimore City, the State of
Maryland, and the U. S. Government
B. How to File a Complaint with Baltimore City
C. How to File a Complaint with the State of Maryland
D. How to File a Complaint with the U. S. Government.
IV. INTRODUCTION TO THE GREATER BALTIMORE COMMUNITY HOUSING RESOURCE BOARD, INC. (GBCHRB)
This is a Self-Help Guide to Fair Housing in the City of Baltimore. Specific information is provided about how to get more information about everyone’s Fair Housing rights and responsibilities, and how to file a complaint of housing discrimination. There also is an introduction to the Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB), which produced this Guide.
The objective is to make you – the citizen – more aware of the laws regarding Fair Housing in the City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland, and in the United States. The first section of this Guide discusses the existing Fair Housing Laws, with a focus upon the housing discrimination section of the Baltimore City Code. This is followed by a description of how to file a Fair Housing complaint. An introduction to the GBCHRB concludes.
For more information and/or technical assistance about Fair Housing, please contact the GBCHRB at 410.929.7640 or email@example.com . The GBCHRB provides Fair Housing informational brochures, self-help guides, posters, training, and other educational materials concerning Fair Housing and neighborhood quality of life, at no cost to the public in Baltimore.
II. A SUMMARY OF THE BALTIMORE CITY FAIR HOUSING LAW
A. WHO IS COVERED?
It is the public policy of the City of Baltimore that each individual shall be provided with Fair Housing regardless of:
* Physical or mental disability
* Familial status
* National origin
* Marital status
* Sexual orientation
The City therefore assures that all persons have full and equal access to housing accommodations, facilities, services, and financial aid. The City’s Fair Housing Ordinance was effective on February 2, 1990. Article 4 of the Baltimore City Code covers prohibited activities and the enforcement process. The Baltimore Community Relations Commission (BCRC) has the responsibility for enforcement.
1. “Familial Status” – One or more individuals under 18 years old living with a parent or person having legal custody.
2. “Discrimination” – Any difference in the treatment of an individual because of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.
3. “Sexual Orientation” – Means the status of an individual as to homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality. This does not permit any practice prohibited by State or City Law.
This Law does not apply to:
1. Same Sex Dwellings – Housing that is for the same sex because of the dwelling’s physical limitations or for considerations of personal privacy or personal safety.
2. Housing for Older Persons – Housing that is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons, or intended for and occupied by persons 62 years of age and older. Such housing must have facilities and services that are specifically designed for the physical or social needs of persons at least 55 years old, at least 80% of the units occupied by such persons, and policies and procedures demonstrating that it is for such persons.
3. Owner-Occupied Dwelling – (a) Rental of a dwelling unit or two rooming units in an owner-occupied dwelling that contains not more than four dwelling units. (b) The rental of not more than two rooming units in a dwelling unit by any person if the person resides in the dwelling unit.
4. Religious Organization – A religious organization – or an organization operated for charitable or educational purposes – may limit sale, rental, or occupancy of dwellings which it owns or operates for non-commercial purposes to its members or for religious purposes. This is provided that such religion is not restricted on account of race, color, or national origin.
5. Controlled Substances – Conduct is not unlawful against a person who has been convicted by a court of the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance.
D. PROHIBITED ACTS
1. GENERAL ACTS
According to Part 13A of Article 4 of the Baltimore City Code, it is unlawful to:
a. Refuse to Negotiate – It is illegal to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental, or to refuse to sell or rent a dwelling.
b. Use Discriminatory Terms and Conditions – To discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale or rental of any dwelling or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection.
c. Refuse a Bona Fide Offer – To refuse to receive or transmit a bona fide offer to purchase, rent, or lease any dwelling from any person.
d. Use Discriminatory Notices, Statements, or Advertisements – To make, print, or publish, any notice, statement, or advertisement that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination.
e. Make False Representations – To represent that a dwelling is not available for inspection, sale, or rental, when in fact it is available.
f. Discriminate in a Multiple Listing Service – To discriminate in allowing or disallowing access to or participation in any multiple listing service, real estate broker’s organization, or other service concerning the business of selling or renting dwellings.
g. Have a Restrictive Covenant – To include in any transfer, sale, or rental of housing any restrictive covenant that discriminates.
h. Refuse to Consider Multiple Income – To refuse to consider two or more applicants’ incomes when they seek to buy or rent a dwelling.
i. Refuse to Consider Alimony or Child Support – To refuse to consider verified alimony or child support as a valid source of income.
j. Request Birth Control Information – To request or consider information about birth control practices in evaluating any prospective buyer or lessee of a dwelling.
k. Discriminate Because of Mental or Physical Disability – To discriminate because of a mental or physical disability. Discrimination includes:
*A refusal to permit, at the expense of the person with disabilities, reasonable modifications of premises if necessary for that person to use the dwelling. Regarding rental units, the landlord may require restoration to original condition.
*A refusal to make reasonable modifications in rules, policies, or practices to permit a person with disabilities to use a dwelling.
*Failure to design or construct multifamily units so that they are readily accessible by persons with disabilities, have units accessible by persons who use wheelchairs, and have design features facilitating usage by persons with disabilities. “Multifamily Units” are buildings with 4 or more units with an elevator, and other buildings having ground floor units with 4 or more units.
2. UNLAWFUL INSURING PRACTICES
a. General Practice – It is illegal to discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of an contract of insurance against hazards to a dwelling.
b. Vicinity Included – This also pertains to any person owning or residing in the dwelling, or owning or residing in the vicinity of the dwelling.
3. UNLAWFUL FINANCING PRACTICES
a. Financial Assistance – It is illegal to discriminate in connection with an application for financial assistance for the purchase, construction, improvement, repair, and maintenance of a dwelling.
b. For Assistance Secured by Real Estate – To discriminate for financial assistance secured by residential real estate.
c. To Use Discriminatory Form – To use a form of application for financial assistance which indicates discrimination.
d. To Include All Income – To refuse to recognize and include the full income of each applicant.
e. Alimony and Child Support – To refuse to consider verified alimony or child support.
f. Appraisal of Property – To discriminate in the appraisal of the value of residential real property.
4. NEIGHBORHOOD REFERENCES
a. Negative Neighborhood Change – To represent that a change has occurred concerning the race, color, religion, marital status, sex, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin, in the composition of the neighborhood in which the dwelling is located.
b. Panic Peddling – To represent that a change has occurred that may result in the lowering of property values and/or an increase in criminal or anti-social behavior and/or a decline in the quality of schools.
5. RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS
Any restrictive covenant that discriminates is declared illegal. Any person asked to accept a document affecting title may decline to accept it until such a covenant has been deleted from the document. Refusal to accept delivery because of this is not a breach of contract.
6. RETALIATORY ACTIONS
a. To Retaliate – It is unlawful to penalize or to discriminate because a person has made a complaint, testified, or assisted any investigation or proceeding regarding this section of the Baltimore City Code.
b. To Intimidate – It also is illegal to intimidate a person who is exercising his/her rights under this section.
E. FAIR HOUSING FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Section 794) and the Fair Housing Act, as amended in 1988 by the Fair Housing Amendments Act (42 U.S.C. Section 3601 et. seq.) define an individual with disabilities (or handicaps) as:
“Any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.”
This section initially reviews the relevant laws, and then discussed specific issues.
2. Overview of the Relevant Laws
a. Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4151) – This Act provides for the removal of architectural barriers from all Federally constructed, leased, or financed buildings.
b. Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794) – The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination, in Federally assisted and conducted programs, against otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities. Along with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this is the major Federal statute protecting the civil rights of persons with disabilities. Section 504 – as well as HUD rules and regulations – provide for complaint procedures regarding housing discrimination on the basis of disability. In short, treatment of the complaint parallels that for other (e.g., racial) discriminatory allegations.
c. Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. 3601) – The Act expanded and strengthened Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 to prohibit discriminatory housing practices based on disability and familial status. There are specified monetary penalties in cases where housing discrimination is found. This Act generally applies to dwellings intended as a residence. Exemptions are:
(1) Rooms or units in owner-occupied dwellings for four or fewer families living independently.
(2) Rental or sale of a single-family home by an owner who doesn’t own more than three houses, who has not sold a house within one year, and who has not used a broker or agent to rent the house.
Prohibited discriminatory actions include:
(1) Refusal to permit, at the request of a person with disabilities, reasonable modifications if necessary to allow this person full usage of the dwelling.
(2) New construction that does not include structure and design standards.
(3) To refuse to make reasonable accommodation in rules, policies, services, or practices, when such are necessary to allow a person with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the housing.
* A building with a “no pets” policy must allow a visually-impaired tenant to keep a guide dog.
*An apartment complex that offers tenants ample, unassigned parking must honor a request from a mobility-impaired tenant for a reserved space near his/her apartment, if necessary to assure that he/she can have access to the apartment.
Requirements for new buildings: In buildings that were ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, and have an elevator and four or more units:
(1) Public and common areas must be accessible to persons with disabilities.
(2) Doors and hallways must be wide enough for wheelchairs.
(3) All units must have: (a) An accessible route through the unit, (b) Accessible light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls, (c) Reinforced bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars, and (d) Kitchens and bathrooms that can be used by people who use wheelchairs.
If a building with four or more units has no elevator and had first occupancy after March 13, 1991, these standards apply to ground floor units only. These requirements do not replace any more stringent standards in State or Maryland or Baltimore City law. However, housing need not be made available to a person who is a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or who currently uses illegal drugs. Enforcement mechanisms involve investigation, conciliation, administrative hearings, U. S. Department of Justice action, and civil actions in Federal Court.
d. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 – This Federal Act prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in private sector employment, all public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications. For more information about the Act, please contact the Baltimore City Commission on Disabilities (410-396-1453) or the Baltimore Community Relations Commission (410-396-3141).
3. How Are You Affected?
The following are commonly-asked questions regarding Fair Housing for persons with disabilities.
a. What must a housing provider consider to assure that housing is provided as integrated?
The housing for persons with disabilities must not be separate or unnecessarily segregated. Accessible units in single buildings should be located throughout the building, and not just on the first floor. In projects with multiple buildings, accessible units should be located throughout these buildings, rather than in just one or two buildings. Persons with mental disabilities should not be segregated in any one wing, floor, or building.
b. What conditions are considered as disabilities under the law?
* Orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments.
* Cerebral palsy.
* Muscular Dystrophy.
* Multiple sclerosis.
* Heart disease.
* Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection (i.e., AIDS/HIV).
* Mental retardation.
* Emotional illness.
* Drug addiction.
c. If this building was built without Federal funds, does the law still apply?
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination in both public and private housing, regardless of whether or not the housing provider receives Federal funds.
d. What is the law regarding communication with persons with disabilities?
A housing provider must have an effective way to communicate with all tenants and applicants who have disabilities: (1) Telephone: TDD or a fax machine, (2) Alternate site for applicants if not accessible, and (3) Application forms and other information in simplified language and utilize pictures or diagrams.
e. What about the cost of housing modifications?
The Fair Housing Act requires that housing providers allow tenants with disabilities to make modifications, at the tenant’s expense, when such modifications are necessary. However, the provider is required to cover the cost to make existing units accessible when a project is viewed in its entirety.
f. What about information given during the application process?
A housing provider may indicate the availability of accessible units, and ask all applicants if they wish to be considered for such units. If the person indicates this, he/she can be asked to explain and document why the accessibility features are required – even though to answer these questions may involve revealing information about a physical or mental disability (24 CFR. Sec. 8.27).
g. Can a provider make the ability to live independently a term or condition of tenancy?
No. Instead, the provider must rely on the tenant’s ability to meet the standard obligations of tenancy (e.g., maintaining the unit) to determine if the tenant can continue to reside in that unit.
h. When can a housing provider evict a person with disabilities who damages his/her unit and/or disturbs tenants?
The general rule is that a person with disabilities can be held to the same standards of behavior as those to which a non-disabled person is held. Reasonable accommodation, however, may require that in some circumstances a landlord make an accommodation in the rule.
II. HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT OF HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
A. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FILING WITH BALTIMORE CITY, THE STATE OF MARYLAND, AND THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
Someone who believes that his/her rights against discrimination have been violated has three options in Baltimore City. S/he can file a complaint with the Baltimore Community Relations Commission (BCRC), the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR), or the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
2. Differences Between Filing with Baltimore City, the State of Maryland, and
the U. S. Government
State of Maryland
The bases for discrimination complaints differs between Baltimore City and the State of Maryland. For the State of Maryland, Title 14, Subtitle 03, Chapter 4 (14.03.04) of the Code of Maryland Regulations prohibits housing discrimination in Maryland based on the following:
* National Origin
* Marital Status
* Mental Disability
* Physical Disability
* Familial Status
* Sexual Orientation
Unlike Baltimore City, the State of Maryland’s Fair Housing Law does include Ancestry, Familial Status, and Sexual Orientation, as bases for housing discrimination complaints. Anyone, therefore, who believes that s/he is a victim of housing discrimination because of these bases solely can file a complaint with the State of Maryland. If you are in doubt, it is advisable to contact Baltimore City (410-396-3141) or the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (410-767-8600) for a full explanation of covered classes.
U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Of the bases covered under Baltimore City Law, Age, Ancestry, Marital Status, and Sexual Orientation are not covered under Federal law. Persons with discrimination complaints with these bases therefore must file a complaint with Baltimore City. If you are in doubt, it is advisable to contact Baltimore City (410-396-3141) or HUD (410-962-2520, extension 3056) for a full explanation of covered classes.
Contents of this Section
This section next details how to file a complaint with Baltimore City, and then describes how to file with the State of Maryland and HUD.
B. HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH BALTIMORE CITY
1. How to File a Complaint
The Baltimore City Code specifies the following specific step-by-step process to handle complaints of discrimination in housing.
a. Step #1: Filing the Complaint
Any individual who believes that s/he has been discriminated against must file a written complaint with the Baltimore Community Relations Commission (BCRC) within 180 days (six months) of the incident. You either may write the BCRC at Equitable Building, Suite 915, 10 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, or telephone 410-396-3141.
The complaint shall state the following information:
* Name and address of the complainant (the person filing the complaint).
* Name and address (if known) of the person(s) alleged to have committed a violation of the law (the Respondent).
* Particular facts of the complaint.
* Other relevant information.
b. Step #2: Investigation of the Complaint
The BCRC then will conduct an investigation of the complaint. A determination will be made either that a violation has occurred or that a violation has not occurred. If the BCRC finds that a violation has occurred, it then will try to eliminate the practice by conference, conciliation, and persuasion between the Complainant and the Respondent.
c. Step #3: Agreement in Writing
If an agreement is reached for the elimination of the discriminatory practice, the agreement will be in writing and signed by the respondent. The BCRC shall issue an order setting forth the terms. If no agreement is reached, a written statement to that effect will be sent to the Complainant and the Respondent.
d. Step #4: Hearings
If an agreement has not been reached, the BCRC next will conduct a hearing. The Respondent has the options of filing a written answer to the complaint, appear at the hearing, have counsel present at the hearing, and/or examine and cross-examine witnesses.
e. Step #5: Findings
After the hearing, the BCRC will issue to the Respondent an order requiring the cessation of the unlawful practice. This may include actions such as:
* The sale or rental of a dwelling sought by the Complainant or a similar dwelling.
* Extension of fair and equal advantages, facilities, and privileges to all persons.
* Awarding of compensatory damages to the Complainant.
f. Step #6: Awarding of Compensatory Damages
The BCRC may award damages to the Complainant that include:
* Compensation for humiliation, embarrassment, and emotional distress.
* Expenses incurred in obtaining alternate housing.
* Other related expenses.
In addition, the BCRC may impose a penalty of $1,000.00 a day. Maximum amounts are:
* $10,000.00 if the Respondent has not been found guilty of prior housing discrimination.
* $25,000.00 if the Respondent has committed one other discriminatory housing practice in the past five years.
* $50,000.00 if the Respondent has committed 2 or more discriminatory housing practices during the past 7 years.
g. Step #7: Judicial Appeal
Any person found in violation of the Baltimore City Code by the BCRC may apply for judicial appeal to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.
a. Baltimore Community Relations Commission
As previously discussed, the Baltimore City Community Relations Commission (BCRC) has the legal responsibility for the enforcement of the Baltimore City Code regarding housing discrimination. The BCRC may be reached by telephone at 410-396-3141.
b. Refusal to Comply
If the Respondent refuses to comply with an order of the BCRC, the City Law Department will file with an appropriate court to obtain compliance. The court has the power to grant temporary relief, a restraining order, or other action regarding the BCRC’s order.
c. Real Estate Commission Notification
The BCRC will notify the Real Estate Commission of Maryland (RECM) if a real estate broker, operator, or salesperson licensed by the RECM either has failed to comply with a BCRC order or has been found to have committed a discriminatory housing practice.
C. HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE STATE OF MARYLAND
A person who feels that they are a victim of housing discrimination also may file a complaint with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR). Often, a person will file a complaint both with Baltimore City and with the State. This is not forbidden, and is sometimes advisable in order to expedite the complaint process.
Title 14, Subtitle 03, Chapter 4 (14.03.04) of the Code of Maryland Regulations prohibits housing discrimination in the State based on:
* National Origin
* Marital Status
* Mental Disability
* Physical Disability
* Familial Status
* Sexual Orientation
2. Contacting the MCHR
The first step in filing a housing discrimination complaint is to contact the MCCR. Someone who feels that s/he is the victim of housing discrimination (called the “Complainant”) may either telephone or write the MCCR within one year of the incident. The MCCR’s telephone numbers are: 410-767-8600 or 1-800-637-6247. The TDD number is 410-333-1737. A person may write the MCCR at: 6 St. Paul Street, 9th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21202. Upon contact, the MCCR staffer will set up an appointment with the Complainant to obtain more information about the complaint.
As soon as MCCR obtains all the information about the incident from the Complainant, it contacts and gets relevant information from the person who is the subject of the complaint (called the “Respondent”). The MCCR makes this fact-finding process as quickly as possible. This process is quickened if the situation demands immediate action (e.g., the Complainant is subject to immediate threat or harm). The MCCR will inform the Complainant and the Respondent in writing of its decision of whether discrimination has occurred, and it then will enforce corrective remedies.
The MCCR can order a Respondent to make a financial payment and/or many other actions to remedy a proven discrimination problem. For example, it can issue a temporary restraining order to keep a housing unit on the market in certain circumstances. The MCCR’s administrative penalties can be very costly to the person or company adjudged to be guilty of housing discrimination:
* $10,000 fine, if the person/company has committed one prior discriminatory practice.
* $25,000 fine, if the person/company has committed one prior discriminatory practice within the past 5 years.
* $50,000 fine, if the person/company has committed two or more prior discriminatory practices within the past 7 years.
The MCCR also can negotiate other remedies as agreed between its legal counsel, the Complainant, and the Respondent. These may include actual damages and “equitable relief” in addition to the monetary fine.
5. Anti-Retaliatory Provision
Like Baltimore City, the MCCR is committed to ensuring that a person who makes a complaint or who supports a complaint by another not be the victim of retaliation. It is illegal to retaliate against a Complainant or someone who aids that person. The State, therefore, will prosecute immediately such action if it does occur.
It also is illegal to threaten or intimidate someone who has filed a discrimination complaint. For example, it is illegal to:
* Threaten an employee with dismissal because of filing a complaint.
* Intimidate or threaten someone who has won a discrimination complaint.
* Harass someone who has assisted another in filing a discrimination complaint.
For example, it is illegal to threaten someone with bodily harm who has filed a discrimination complaint. Harassing that person, by swearing and physical threats, is against the law. If you are unsure whether an action is against the law, please contact the MCCR at (410)767-8600.
D. HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Like Baltimore City and the State of Maryland, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also is ready to help to combat housing discrimination. As mentioned previously, the Federal Government’s legal bases for Fair Housing complaints are more narrowly defined than those of either Baltimore City or the State of Maryland. The national Fair Housing Act forbids housing discrimination on the basis of:
* National Origin
* Familial Status
* Physical Disability
* Mental Disability
In Maryland, HUD refers all housing discrimination complaints to the Maryland Commission on Human Relations (MCHR) for processing and investigation. Therefore, it is quicker to file a discrimination complaint directly with MCHR (410-767-8600) than with HUD.
HUD’s complaint process is very similar to those of Baltimore City and the State. If someone believes his/her rights have been violated, s/he can either write HUD a letter, telephone the local HUD Maryland State Office, or telephone the HUD toll-free telephone hot-line. Appropriate assistance also is available for persons with disabilities. TDD lines are available for the hearing-impaired. A complaint should be filed as soon as possible after the occurrence, but within one year of its occurrence.
2. What to Tell HUD
The following information is necessary to file a complaint with HUD:
* Name and address of the person filing the complaint (the “Complainant”).
* Name and address of the person the complaint is against (the “Respondent”).
* The address of other identification of the housing involved.
* A short description of the alleged violation (the event that caused the belief that rights were violated).
* The date(s) of the alleged violation.
3. Where to Write
Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 Seventh Street, S. W., Room 5204
Washington, D. C. 20410-2000
4.. Where to Call
There are two telephone lines during regular business workdays (Mondays-Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) to provide assistance to anyone who wishes to file a complaint:
* Maryland State HUD Office: 410-962-2520, extension 3056.
* Toll-free hot-line: 1-800-669-9777.
5. If the Person has a Disability
For persons with disabilities, HUD also provides:
* A local TDD phone for the hearing-impaired: 410-962-0106.
* A toll-free TDD phone for the hearing-impaired: 1-800-927-9275.
* Tapes and Braille materials.
* Assistance in reading and completing forms.
HUD guarantees that the confidentiality of the person making the housing discrimination complaint will be maintained.
7. What Happens Next?
HUD notifies the person who has complained (called the “Complainant”) once it receives the complaint. Normally, HUD then also will:
* Notify the alleged violator of the complaint (called the “Respondent”), and permit that person to submit an answer to the complaint.
* Investigate the complaint and determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe the Fair Housing Act has been violated.
* HUD will notify the Complainant if the Government cannot complete an investigation within 100 days of receiving the complaint.
After gathering the evidence and concluding that discrimination has occurred, HUD will try to reach an agreement with the Respondent. Such an agreement is called a conciliation agreement, and specifies the actions that will be taken to remove the discriminatory housing practice. However, if the agreement is violated, HUD will recommend that the U. S. Attorney General file a suit against the Respondent.
9. For Immediate Help
HUD may be able to assist persons in need of immediate help to stop a serious problem caused by a Fair Housing Act violation. HUD may authorize the Attorney General to go to court to seek temporary or preliminary relief, pending the outcome of the complaint.
For example, a builder agrees to sell a house but, after learning that the buyer is African-American, fails to keep the agreement.
IV. INTRODUCTION TO THE GREATER BALTIMORE COMMUNITY HOUSING RESOURCE BOARD (GBCHRB)
Purpose and Historical Background
The GBCHRB was started in 1979 in Baltimore, Maryland, to be an advocate and educator for Fair Housing in the Baltimore metropolitan region. The organization originally was founded by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of its Community Housing Resource Board Program. The GBCHRB became an independent 501(c)(3) Maryland nonprofit corporation in 1992. Its Board of Directors includes both organizational representatives and individuals.
The following organizations and agencies currently have members on the GBCHRB Board of Directors:
* Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development.
* Baltimore DHCD Home Ownership Institute.
* Baltimore Community Relations Commission.
* Baltimore County Human Relations Commission.
* Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.
* Calvary Baptist Church (Towson, Maryland).
* Citizens Planning & Housing Association.
* Community Assistance Network.
* Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors.
* Interfaith Action for Racial Justice.
* League of Women Voters of Baltimore City & Baltimore County.
* Legal Aid Bureau of Baltimore.
* Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.
* Maryland State Conference of the N.A.A.C.P.
* The IMAGE Center.
The GBCHRB seeks to work cooperatively and positively with various organizations, agencies, groups, and individuals throughout the greater Baltimore community. It is assisted by various local governments, its member organizations and agencies, and other private and public organizations interested in Fair Housing. The GBCHRB has received several grants from HUD, Baltimore City, and Baltimore County, to undertake its Fair Housing activities.
Among the GBCHRB’s current activities is its Baltimore City Fair Housing Project, a comprehensive education and information effort. It is intended to raise public awareness of Baltimore City’s Fair Housing Law and increase understanding and support of Fair Housing throughout the City. The Project includes brochure and self-help guide distribution, conducting interviews for the GBCHRB’s bi-weekly radio show Living in Baltimore on WCAO-AM (“Heaven 600”) and Neighborhood Beat cable-TV show, and a campaign to raise awareness of the Fair Housing rights of people with disabilities in Baltimore City.
How to Contact Us
If you or your organization would like to learn more about the GBCHRB and its activities in support of Fair Housing and community development, please write:
G. B. C. H. R. B., Inc.
P. O. Box 66180
Baltimore, Maryland 21239-6180
For more information, you may also telephone the GBCHRB at 410.929.7640.
Or you may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Go back to the GBCHRB home page