Housing Discrimination – SOI Bill

Finding a home is a person’s most important expense. A home allows people to have a sense of stability to think about other aspects of life, like finding better jobs and making sure their children are successful in school. When people are unable to find safe, affordable housing, it places them at risk of becoming homeless, and then it becomes next to impossible to think about anything else. Nationally, approximately 14.4 million families have critical housing needs. An estimated 328,000 units would need to be built each year to address the growing need for affordable housing.

In Baltimore, nearly 1/2 of residents live below 200% of the federal poverty line. This means that finding affordable housing is increasingly difficult. Maryland overall, ranked 5th in the nation in a study measuring 2-Bedroom Housing Wage from highest to lowest. The study included the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. So how can we correct this growing problem and end homelessness? City Council Bill 18-038 is an integral step in fixing this growing epidemic. The bill prohibits landlords and other property owners from discriminating against persons seeking housing based on their “source of income.” It requires landlords to judge potential tenants based on past rental history; ability to comply with the lease; and stability and security of the renter’s income. The bill bans the widespread practice of refusing to rent to families enrolled in the Housing Choice Voucher.

Source of income discrimination affects vulnerable populations like senior citizens, people with disabilities, single mothers, veterans, and lower wage workers, many of whom use housing vouchers because their incomes are not high enough to pay the full rent. The Baltimore City Housing Authority (HABC) administers over 16,000 housing vouchers with thousands more on the waiting list. This bill ensures that people will have a fair chance at getting affordable housing and economic opportunities. Here at WHC, we think this bill is an important step in addressing the homelessness epidemic and helping our residents secure affordable housing, We are looking forward to the next steps in the process of ending homelessness forever.    

Celebrating Black History Month

Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month. Here at WHC, we are celebrating the many amazing contributions and lives of black women. All month long, we will be highlighting some of these women on Facebook and Instagram as our #WomenCrushWednesday. We are celebrating women like Fannie Lou Hamer, who was a civil, women’s and voting rights activist, who fought for equality; women like Jane Bolin, who was the first African-American woman to graduate from Yale Law, the first to join the New York Bar Association, the first to join the New York City police department and the first to serve as a judge in the U.S.; and women like Juanita Jackson Mitchell, who was the first African American woman to practice law in Maryland.

Here at WHC, approximately 82% of our residents identify as black. It is important for us share their history and help them see that incredible things are possible. By highlighting these amazing women who look like them, we assist them in regaining a sense of self, a sense of pride, and a way to see their value in the community. We are blessed to highlight some of the well known and relatively unknown black women who have shaped our society. So look at each of our #WCW posts, take in a bit of history, and help us celebrate the difference the women we honor made in our communities and our world.

Windows of Opportunity 2019

Windows of Opportunity 2019

Join us for the evening and enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. Mingle, listen to music, and cheer on this year’s Women’s Housing Champion – Chickie Grayson.

All funds raised support the Women’s Housing Coalition in breaking the cycle of homelessness for the women and children we serve.

 

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