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New on fairhousing.com:
  • Latest news item posted on 09/30/2016 at 07:45 AM

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Study: Whites treated better by Battle Creek real estate agents
     (Battle Creek, MI, Sep. 30, 2016) -- White prospective homeowners received better treatment and service from Battle Creek real estate agents than their black counterparts who were "better-qualified consumers," according to a fair housing investigation conducted last fiscal year.
     The findings, released Thursday at a news conference held at Battle Creek City Hall, reported that among 38 tests, white subjects were offered more listings, received better communication and had fewer discussions on pre-approval requirements. That's despite black test subjects being assigned characteristics that would give them an advantage, such as better financial situations.
     "While we're drawing attention to a problem — and I don't want to shy away from the fact that it's a problem in Battle Creek — I do want to say that we're not just here to talk because there's a problem," said Chris Lussier, the city's community development manager. "We're also here because we have a community that does want to take it on, head on, and address it." WZZW13-ABC

Mansfield Housing Authority case reaches settlement
     (Mansfield, CT, Sep. 30, 2016) -- The Mansfield Housing Authority (MHA) has reached a settlement of $180,000 for allegations of discrimination based on race. The settlement was announced by the Connecticut Fair Housing Center on Aug. 30.
     The case was brought forth by the Connecticut Fair Housing Center on behalf of Equalla Jenkins, who was denied access to a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher by the MHA in 2014. Although she was eligible for the program according to both state and federal law, she was refused access. The Housing Choice Voucher program is a federal program that is designed to assist low income families to afford housing in the private sector.
     According to federal law, housing authorities such as the MHA receive federal funds on the condition that they be used for the voucher program. The Mansfield Housing Authority in particular is responsible for implementing this program in the towns of Mansfield, Ashford, Coventry, Willington and Chaplin.
     Jenkins, who is African American, had made it through the initial stages of the application for the voucher program, but was ultimately denied due to policies of the MHA.
     Particularly, the housing authority had speculated that she would be unable to maintain her job in Middletown from the Mansfield area. Although Jenkins had made plans for getting to work, the MHA had required her to provide proof that she had a car. The Daily Campus

Talk focuses on ways to keep Columbia's ideal of fair housing alive
     (Columbia, MD, Sep. 29, 2016) -- Sustaining racial integration in housing requires constant stewardship, even in a planned community built on diversity.
     That's the theme of a talk being given Tuesday by the head of an Illinois fair-housing organization to Howard County leaders and residents who seek to preserve Columbia's legacy of inclusiveness.
     Rob Breymaier, executive director of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center, will also offer insight into the operations of the nonprofit, which has a 44-year history of maintaining racial integration in communities west of Chicago.
     "There is caring and concern in Columbia about remaining true to its core values," said Breymaier, who has headed the nonprofit for 10 years. "'What do we need to put in place to keep the dream alive?' That's the question people want answered." The Baltimore Sun

HUD Fair Housing Rule Grants: Not Everybody Wants Some
     (Dallas, TX, Sep. 28, 2016) -- In July 2015, HUD published the finalized Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule in the Federal Register with the goal of providing participants in HUD programs with clear guidelines and data they need to achieve the goals outlined in the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
     While the final rule was widely praised and viewed as a great achievement for the Obama Administration, not everyone is excited about it. Four communities have recently decided that they no longer want to receive HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds associated with the AFFH Rule: Castle Rock, Colorado; Douglas County, Colorado; Sedgwick County, Kansas; and Wayne Township, New Jersey, which announced on September 7 that it would not accept the funds. The MR Report

Decades-Old Housing Discrimination Case Plagues Donald Trump
     (Washington, DC, Sep. 28, 2016) -- During the presidential debate on Monday night, Hillary Clinton raised a 1973 federal lawsuit brought against Donald Trump and his company for alleged racial discrimination at Trump housing developments in New York.
     The Justice Department sued Donald Trump, his father, Fred, and Trump Management in order to obtain a settlement in which Trump and his father would promise not to discriminate. The case eventually was settled two years later after Trump tried to countersue the Justice Department for $100 million for making false statements. Those allegations were dismissed by the court. NPR

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