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County Executive Leopold Proclaims April "Fair Housing Month"

Annapolis (April 1, 2008) - County Executive John R. Leopold today announced that he is proclaiming the month of April "Fair Housing Month" in Anne Arundel County to promote awareness of everyone’s right to equal opportunity in housing choice.

His announcement comes as housing advocates, faith based leaders and government officials prepare to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which was passed as part of the 1968 Civil Rights Act on April 11, 1968 shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Fair Housing Act bans discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin and sex. Disability and familial status were added as protected classes in 1988.

"Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to live in the neighborhood of their choice, whether they are buying a home or renting an apartment, regardless of race, faith, national origin, or disability," County Executive Leopold. "When it comes to fulfilling one of our basic human needs - housing - there is no room for discrimination."

The Fair Housing Act, as amended, prohibits both overt discrimination and patterns of discriminatory practices, such as redlining and predatory lending practices targeting minority populations.

In honor of this important anniversary, Arundel Community Development Services, Inc. (ACDS), the County’s housing and community development agency, is working with the County’s regional partners to host a regional fair housing symposium - Celebrating 40 Years of Fair Housing: A Response to the Foreclosure Crisis on Friday, April 18, 2008 in downtown Baltimore. The event will both celebrate the passage of the Fair Housing Act, and shed light on the current foreclosure crisis and how it relates to fair lending and fair housing practices.

Also in honor of Fair Housing Month, the Human Relations Commission of Anne Arundel County and Calvary Chapel International Worship Center, with support from ACDS, are hosting a Fair Housing Celebration on April 22, 2008 to recognize the faith community’s role in passage of the 1968 Act and to foster a dialogue around future actions that should be taken to improve fair housing opportunities in the County. The event is free and open to the public and will be held at Calvary Chapel in Severn, Maryland.

For more information, contact Kathleen Koch, Executive Director, Arundel Community Development Services, Inc. at (410) 222-7600 or the Human Relations Office at (410) 222-1234.


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