Northwest Indiana Reinvestment Alliance celebrates Fair Housing Act

Contributed By:The 411 News

Fifty years after the 1968 civil rights act that outlawed discrimination in the rental and sale of housing

April 11, 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Fair Housing Act, a law instrumental in the furtherance of fair housing practices on local, state and national levels.

To commemorate this historic occasion, the Northwest Indiana Reinvestment Alliance (NWIRA), its affiliates, the Lake County Housing Taskforce and the Northwest Indiana Bankers Community Council, are hosting an anniversary celebration entitled “50th Anniversary Fair Housing Act: Fairness Matters.”

The event will be held on Thursday, April 19 at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana 46321. A Fair Housing class will be offered by Haneefah Khaaliq, J.D., City of Gary Human Relations Commission, Executive Director beginning at 3 p.m. with a reception and program following at 5 p.m.

Program speakers include Michael Griffin, Clerk-Treasurer, City of Highland, former Gary Mayor Richard G. Hatcher, and Rev. Charles Emery, Pastor of Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church.

Although the 1968 Fair Housing Act outlawed discriminatory practices in the rental and sale of housing, federal laws in the 1970s expanded the scope to include lending, particularly by banking institutions. The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975 required certain financial institutions to provide their mortgage data to the public.

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was enacted in 1977 to prevent redlining and to encourage banks and savings associations to help meet the credit needs of all segments of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and individuals.

Today, CRA and its implementing regulations require federal financial institution regulators to assess the record of each bank in fulfilling its obligation to the community and to consider that record in evaluating and approving applications for charters, bank mergers, acquisitions, and branch openings.

The Northwest Community Reinvestment Alliance (The Alliance) was organized in May of 1989 as a result of training conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to address northwest Indiana lending institutions’ compliance with disclosing their mortgage data and how those lenders addressed the credit needs of all population segments in their service areas.

Founding Alliance members were the Hammond, Gary, and East Chicago Human Rights Commissions, along with the Northwest Indiana Open Housing Center, Hammond, Gary, and East Chicago NAACP Chapters, the Northwest Indiana Urban League, St. Patrick’s Church, and HMAN10.

Organized in late 2008, the Northwest Indiana Banker Community Council (BCC) – 13 banks and ten community organizations – meets quarterly to discuss the financial environment programs and the economic development projects in the area that should be supported. The BCC provides matching funds to support federal and state grants that support Alliance programs.

Real estate professionals can earn 2 hours of continuing education credits for attending fair housing workshops that will be held during the celebration.

Story Posted:04/12/2018

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