Housing officials from many of the Baltimore region’s local jurisdictions have published new educational booklets outlining fair housing rights and responsibilities regarding both rental and owner-occupied homes. They are also available in Spanish and Korean versions.
The booklets, made possible by a fair housing grant to the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), were prepared by the Baltimore Regional Fair Housing Group, Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, and, for the rental booklet, the Maryland Multi-Housing Association.
The Baltimore Regional Fair Housing Group is comprised of representatives of the county-level governments in the region who receive federal funds directly from HUD: Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, and Howard Counties. The Fair Housing Group is staffed by the BMC through HUD Fair Housing and Sustainable Communities grants and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds contributed by the local governments.
The 2012 Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) prepared by the Baltimore Regional Fair Housing Group identified confusion over varying local fair housing protections and procedures for enforcement as a regional impediment to fair housing. The AI Action Plan directed the jurisdictions to create educational materials like this booklet for wide distribution, particularly to property managers and owners and real estate agents who operate in multiple jurisdictions in the region.
The booklets are currently being distributed through local public housing agencies and some local REALTOR® organizations, churches, and festivals. They include a table of federal, state, and local fair housing protections in the Fair Housing Group jurisdictions and the City of Annapolis. The table includes the new State of Maryland protection against housing discrimination based on gender identity, which went into effect October 1, 2014. The booklet also contains descriptive information on how some of these protections apply, as well as places people can go for more information or to file a fair housing complaint.
If you have any questions or would like to request printed booklets to distribute, contact Dan Pontious at email@example.com or 410-732-0500 x1055.