Monday, April 6, 2020

picture of Fair Housing News sample page

Welcome to this edition of Fair Housing E-News! This newsletter is produced by the GBCHRB
as a public service. More info/resources:
Just a few of the headlines are:

Race Matters Institute Statement Says COVID-19 is Worsening  Societal Inequality and Communities of Color. Read the March 31, 2020 RMI article.

The Civil Rights Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Reminds that Discrimination During COVID-19 is Prohibited. Read the March 28, 2020 HHS Bulletin.

Urban Institute Study Finds Gap Between White and Black Homeownership Rates is Highest in 50 Years. Read the February 21, 2020 Urban Institute article.

Tax Policy Center (Urban Institute and Brookings Institution) Study Finds Some Tax Policies Exacerbate Income and Wealth Inequalities Coming from Discrimination in Housing, Education, Employment, & Others. Read the January 30, 2020 Tax Policy Center article.

Draft 2020 Baltimore Region Fair Housing Analysis Released for Public Comment. Download the full document: 2020 Analysis Of Impediments To Fair Housing Choice (AI). Please submit comments by email to

WBALTV 11 Study Documents Widening Racial Gap in Housing Value. Read the February 20, 2020 WBALTV 11 article.

Plans to Build a Mosque on 12-Acre Site in Creswell Area Southeast of Bel Air Condemned by  Local Residents. Read the March 3, 2020 Baltimore Sun article.

To read this issue of Fair Housing E-News: fhnews20marapr.pdf.

P. O. Box 66180
Baltimore, Maryland 21239-6180

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Draft 2020 Baltimore Region Fair Housing Analysis Released for Public Comment


Since 2012, the Baltimore Metropolitan Council has been assisting local jurisdictions and public housing authorities (PHAs) -- the Baltimore Regional Fair Housing Group -- with regional fair housing planning and implementation.

Building on more than 18 months of work with a consultant team led by Root Policy Research, including ten meetings of a Regional AI Stakeholder Work Group, the Baltimore Regional Fair Housing Group is releasing its draft 2020 regional fair housing analysis for public comment:


This March 2 draft release begins a 30-day public comment period:

Please submit comments by email to

The public comment period will end on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

The Fair Housing Group will hold a Public Hearing on Monday, March 23, 6:00 pm at the Baltimore Metropolitan Council office, 1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21230. Get directions to BMC.

The BMC office is ADA accessible. If you wish to attend and require a special accommodation (e.g. interpreter for deaf and hard of hearing or interpreter for persons with limited English proficiency), please contact Dan Pontious at or 410.732.0500 x1055 no later than March 17.

Six jurisdictions and five public housing authorities (PHAs) carried out this process, with assistance from the Baltimore Metropolitan Council and the Root Policy Research consultants: City of Annapolis and the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County and the Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County, City of Baltimore and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Harford County and the Havre de Grace Housing Authority, Howard County and the Howard County Housing Commission.

The new AI will replace the 2012 AI, described below, that jurisdictions and PHAs have been implementing over the past several years. Local governments and PHAs will include action steps from the 2020 AI that pertain to their jurisdiction in their Consolidated Plans and PHA plans for using federal housing funds beginning July 1, 2020.

If you have any questions, please send them to BMC’s housing policy coordinator Dan Pontious at with “Fair Housing Analysis” in the subject line.

March, 2020

Major Progress in Annapolis Session On State Legislation Combating Hate Symbols

Nooses and swastikas are unmistakable symbols of hate that each carry an immensely ugly history. Neither have a place in our state.

We have been working to combat these hateful symbols this legislative session through HB5 in the House of Delegates and SB161 in the State Senate, sponsored by Delegate Mark Change and Senator Sarah Elfreth respectively. This bill would prohibit anyone from placing or inscribing a noose or swastika, whether temporary or permanent, on any real or personal property, without the express permission of the owner. We are thrilled that both bills have passed their respective chambers and are now one significant step closer to reaching Governor Hogan's desk.

This is quoted from the March, 2020 edition of the Baltimore Jewish Council's Council Matters.

Go to the Council's website here.

Spatial Mismatch and Federally Supported Rental Housing
"Do Public Housing and Vouchers Help People Live Closer to Available Jobs?" 

by Christina Plerhoples Stacy, Christopher, Davis, Benny Docter, Leiha Edmonds, Jorge González Ananya Hariharan, Brady Meixell, Alex Peffley, Nancy M. Pindus, Prasanna Rajasekaran, Daniel Teles, Brett Theodos, and Mark Treskon.

Download PDF.     Print.     February 28, 2020

Abstract: In many places in the United States, people with low incomes live far from available jobs, and employers cannot find workers to fill open positions. This gap between where jobs are located and where job seekers live is referred to as “spatial mismatch,” and it can harm both employers and potential workers. Rental assistance programs, such as public housing and housing vouchers, could help people live closer to available jobs and thus reduce spatial mismatch. However, the historical placement of public housing far from opportunities and discrimination against families with housing vouchers might mean that recipients of federal rental assistance live farther from job opportunities than they would without that assistance.

To understand the relationship between federal rental assistance programs and spatial mismatch, we analyze data from Snag, the largest online marketplace for hourly jobs in the US, and data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development on the location of public housing and assisted households. We find that spatial mismatch is worse for assisted households than for similar unassisted households, suggesting that public and assisted housing does not, on average, help families live closer to net job opportunities. Within assistance types, households in public housing fare the worst; they have an average of over 8,000 more job seekers than job postings within a reasonable commuting distance, followed by households with Housing Choice Vouchers, which have almost 6,000 more nearby job seekers than postings. Households in the project-based Section 8 rental assistance programs and moderate rehabilitation programs fare the best, with just under 4,500 more job seekers than postings within a reasonable commuting radius.

Read the Urban Institute cover article.

The Maryland HOME Act: HB 231 Floor Vote is this week!
Call or email your Delegate NOW!

Maryland HOME Act: HB 231, sponsored by Del. Brooke Lierman, will ban housing discrimination based on source of income statewide. Last Thursday, the bill PASSED the House Environment and Transportation Committee in a bipartisan vote!

The bill is now headed to the HOUSE FLOOR!

PLEASE call or email your Delegate TODAY and ask him/her to
VOTE FOR a clean HOME Act and AGAINST any floor amendments!

Don't know your state Delegate?  Check with your address here

We anticipate and OPPOSE 3 floor amendments that would create LARGE loopholes in MD fair housing law:

Imposing a 20% cap on voucher holders.  This proposed amendment is contrary to the purpose of fair housing laws and means 80% discrimination against voucher holders.This amendment would also make enforcement very difficult: How does a rejected tenant know whether a landlord or property has hit a certain "cap"?  Urge your Delegate to vote AGAINST this amendment.

Exemption for small landlords who use Realtors or Property Managers.  The Maryland fair housing law already provides an exemption for property owners who own 2 or fewer units, as long as they do not use a realtor or property manager.  The opposition wants to extend that exemption to landlords who use realtors and property managers.  Maryland fair housing law has never provided an exemption for landlords who use realtors or property managers because once a property owner uses a realtor or property manager, they are considered to be "in the business of" being a landlord and are expected to know and understand fair housing law.  Urge your Delegate to vote AGAINST this amendment.

Exemption based on Occupation:  Some landlords claim the HOME Act will prevent landlords from offering rent credits to certain occupations, like teachers.  That claim is incorrect - the HOME Act does not prevent a landlord from offering rent credits or other benefits to particular occupations.  Some local Maryland jurisdictions prohibit discrimination explicitly based on occupation, but Maryland state law does not and the HOME Act does not either.  Urge your Delegate to vote AGAINST this amendment.

About Source of Income Discrimination

Source of income discrimination contributes to concentrations of poverty, racially segregated housing and homelessness. Over 90 local jurisdictions and 15 states prohibit this practice, including 6 counties and 3 cities in Maryland. In 2017, the American Bar Association adopted policy urging governments to prohibit the practice. It is time for Maryland to answer a moral call to action. It’s time we open up housing and job opportunities for tens of thousands of Marylanders! Read more about the Maryland statewide bill to ban source of income discrimination in housing on our website - here.

For more information about HB 231, please visit our WEBSITE for the full text and fact sheets or contact Antonia Fasanelli at or Matt Hill at

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3615 Harford Rd
Baltimore, MD 21218-3150

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Received from Beyond the Boundaries, March 5, 2020

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Source: Maryland Insurance Administration email, 2/11/20

Monday, February 10, 2020


Friday, February 21st 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Miller Senate Office Building – West 1
11 Bladen Street Annapolis, Maryland 21401
          *Valid ID needed to enter building


This event is free & open to the public. A continental breakfast & boxed lunch will be provided to all registrants.

The Maryland Association of Human Relations/Human Rights Agencies (MAHRA) invites you to join us for the annual MAHRA 2020 Human Rights Day in Annapolis! This yearly gathering of leaders and advocates passionate about human and civil rights is free and open to the public. The day will feature advocacy updates, check-ins from Senators and Delegates, panel discussions, and dynamic speakers.

Questions? Please contact Spencer Dove, Executive Associate at the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) at or 410-767-8576.

Victim of Discrimination? File a Complaint3

Training & Partnerships Education and Outreach

Source: MCCR email, February 10, 2020