From Harford County government:
On Friday, April 20, 2012, Harford County Executive David R. Craig welcomed a standing room only crowd to the Havre de Grace Activity Center for “Fair Housing in 2012: A Clear Path for All.” The training, free and open to the public, was the result of partnership and collaboration among the Harford County Department of Community Services Office of Human Relations, the Harford County Housing Agency and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
“Havre de Grace was essentially the last stop on the Underground Railroad for many heading north,” said Mr. Craig. Craig explained that in order to cross the bridge to go further north, runaways needed the permission of a white person. Under these circumstances some escapees simply remained in Havre de Grace forming communities. According to County Executive Craig, by the time the federal Fair Housing Act was passed (April 1968), residents of Havre de Grace were already living in racially mixed neighborhoods. Mr. Craig noted that the Fair Housing Act was passed a few days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a fitting memorial to his life’s work and a unifying measure at a challenging time.
The agenda included other speakers: Honorable Raymond Skinner, Secretary, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development; Glendora Hughes, Esquire, General Counsel, Maryland Commission on Civil Rights; Carol Payne, Field Office Director, HUD and Debra McGhee, Director, Baltimore Fair Housing Program Center, HUD; Robert McCord, Esquire, Harford County Attorney; and Frank Baamonde, Housing Services Counselor, Harford County Housing Agency.
The Fair Housing Act (as amended) prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and/or familial status (families with children under 18 years.) Covered dwellings include apartments, single family houses, mobile home parks, etc.
The Fair Housing Amendments of 1988 (passed in 1988) expanded the coverage of the law to prohibit discrimination in housing practices based on disability and familial status. The act established design and construction requirements for multi-family housing (consisting of four or more dwelling units) built for first occupancy after March 13, 1991.
For additional information or if a person feels they have been unlawfully discriminated against contact the Harford County of Office of Human Relations, 220 South Main Street, 3rd Floor, Bel Air, MD, 410-638-4739.