Capital Gazette: Lawyers: Annapolis Inaction On Public Housing Conditions Defies ‘Basic Human Decency’

Capital Gazette, Oct. 25, 2019: Lawyers: Annapolis Inaction On Public Housing Conditions Defies ‘Basic Human Decency’

A nonprofit law firm that represents public housing residents in a lawsuit against the city of Annapolis and its housing authority wrote a searing letter criticizing the city for not moving fast enough to inspect and repair the more than 700 public housing units in the city.

The letter, written by Lisa Marie Sarro of Maryland Legal Aid, was addressed to a group of state and county officials who represent Annapolis, including Sen. Sarah Elfreth, Dels. Alice Cain, and Shaneka Henson, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and Anne Arundel County Councilwoman Lisa Rodvien.

“The City’s complete inaction in the face of its clear knowledge and understanding of the dire conditions in which residents of HACA properties are living, even in the face of a federal lawsuit undertaken to address those conditions, defies common sense, political sense, legal sense and basic human decency,” the letter read.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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