2018 Fair Housing and Lending Seminar

Good morning. I’m Zach Rubin. I’m the chair of the city’s
Commission on Human Rights and I’m your emcee for today. So our first speaker is going
to be mayor Brian Treece, so let me introduce him
real quick and we’ll get the program moving along. Brian Treece was elected mayor
of Columbia in April 2006 after serving as Chairman of
the Downtown Leadership Council and the city of Columbia’s
Historic Preservation Commission. As mayor, Brian Treece serves
on the board of the Regional Economic Development
Incorporated and Missouri innervate
Innovation Center to incubate and accelerate
new business startups. During his first
two years as mayor the city council has continued
to move forward, move Columbia forward with the Social
Equity Strategic Plan, reforming Columbia’s development
code to better protect neighborhoods and improve
in affordable housing options with initiatives, such
as Patriot Place, Welcome Home, and the Community Land Trust. Brian Treece moved to Columbia
more than 30 years ago to attend and graduate from
the University of Missouri. He and his family live in
Columbia’s Old Southwest neighborhood. So please join me in welcoming
the mayor Brian Treece. Well good morning, and welcome
to the 2018 Fair Housing and Lending Seminar,
or welcome back if you were with us yesterday. I’d like to thank each of
you for coming here today, and we’re also joined
with councilman Carl Scala and councilman Michael
Trapp, with us this evening. Together we make
housing opportunities a priority on the city council. I also want to
thank and recognize Rose Wibbenmeyer for organizing
the last two days with us here today, the speakers,
and the sponsors, and the quality talks
that we’ve been receiving. Thank you, Rose. And to each of our speakers and
sponsors, Rigel Oliveri, Eric Krekel, Gary Kremer, Elizabeth
Risch, Nate Johnson yesterday, Randy Cole, and the
Building Inclusive Communities team, the Missouri
Commission on Human Rights, of course the Columbia
Board of Realtors that were here yesterday, the
Columbia Housing Authority, the Columbia Apartment
Association, and our sponsor, Central Bank of
Boone County that provided the lovely breakfast
this morning, as well as Zach Rubens and the City of
Columbia’s Human Rights Commission, and the Disabilities
Commission for joining us on this journey. It’s really part of
our mission to end the systemic and institutional
housing discrimination that has occurred, not
just here in Columbia, but throughout the
country, and really create a beloved community
where all of our citizens feel welcome, where all
citizens have the opportunity to afford a safe and affordable
and open home to better support their families in
our neighborhoods and our community. Yesterday I told
you about a story in the Columbia Missourian back
in 2008 about Miles Manner. You may have remembered
my conversation, or read it in today’s paper. The Missourian has
done some great work in continuous and in-depth
coverage of these issues. There is another story
in 2008 by Megan Rowland called A Street Divided. You should look it
up, and I’ll post it on my Twitter
or Facebook page later today, from July of 2008. For four months she walked
the 2 and 1/2 mile stretch of Garth Avenue, from
the very first house at Number One Garth,
South Garth, all the way across Broadway, all the
way across the Business Loop until it turned
into a North Garth in the Parkade neighborhood. And she knocked on
every door and she talked to every resident
that would speak to her, and her story was enlightening. What she found were actually
three different cities all along that same
stretch of road. You had a predominantly
white, owner occupied south of Broadway. You had a very mixed,
predominantly African-American, about 20% owner occupied,
in this midsection of Garth from Broadway to the
Business Loop, that had been interspersed with
hodgepodge of zoning laws, including some residential
and even some commercial along the way. And then you finally had a more
integrated neighborhood when it stretched into North Garth. As a student of
history a former chair of the city’s Historic
Preservation Commission I was struck by this. And I had read the
story in 10 years, and in the back of
my mind it seemed like it had just been
a couple of years ago that this story had run. I was surprised that it
was actually 10 years old, but the points it made
were still relevant today. I’m always curious as to
how our streets get named. In this case, Garth Avenue
was named in the late 1800s for Jefferson Garth. He was a cattle farmer, a
slave owner, and at one point a gravel path was cut
through the middle of his farm from Broadway up
to what soon became Highway 40. Eventually that gravel
path became a road, and the property along that
street were sold into lots and named Garth Avenue. He was a prominent slave owner. There are a number of
advertisements in the Columbia Statesman at the time,
between 1854 in 1862, looking for lost or
escaped or runaways, and he warned Colombians
in these newspaper articles not to hire his slaves
without his permission. It wasn’t until 1916 that
Garth Avenue was connected to the farm to the south. And you think we have
controversial and sometimes confrontational zoning changes? I can think of a few
in my last two years where we had talked about
putting roads through, and neighbors don’t want
that road to go through. In this case Dr. Stewart did
not want his farm interrupted by Garth Avenue, and
ultimately the decision was made to extend
Garth south at Broadway and connect it to the street
that went through Doctor Stewart’s farm, Stewart Road. Since then Broadway has
served as a boundary with whites on the south
and blacks on the north. That boundary was
actually codified in a 1935 urban land use plan
adopted by the city council. We hired a firm called
Hare and Hare Associates. They designed the
country club plaza. They designed the
Grasslands subdivision. They also put together
a plan for Columbia that described Broadway as
quote “the natural boundary” between high density
living to the north, and lower density
living to the south. And that plan
explicitly identifies Broadway as the boundary between
white and black residents. It even includes a map
that labels North Garth as the negro section of town. Jason Gendrich was a PhD student
at the University of Missouri. He did a compelling PhD thesis
on Columbia’s land use planning models, and he
identified– if you ever wondered why Edgewood Avenue
turns into Aldeah when you cross Broadway,
and when you cross Walnut it turns into Alexander. It was to denote when you were
leaving the white part of town and moving into the
black part of town. It was to identify, and
so as not to stigmatize, those who lived
south of Broadway that they might live in
the same section of town as those who live on
perhaps in North Edgewood. Of course, that mid
Garth avenue eventually became a hodgepodge of zoning. They opted for more high
density residential uses, like R2 and duplexes, and even
some commercial properties that were dropped in occasionally. And even as late as the
2000 census in Columbia, the housing along Garth between
Broadway and Business Loop was more than 80%
renter occupied, while the property south
of Broadway on Garth Avenue was 20% to 40% renter occupied. Some of you may know
that about 15 years ago I bought the last shotgun house at
the corner of Garth and Worley. That was always a
source of curiosity for people in the neighborhood. I would drive by
it every day when I lived in that neighborhood. It was always well-maintained,
it was always well cared for. It was a safe
place for kids that were walking home from school. They could drop
in and visit with the elderly African-American
woman who lived there. A shotgun house,
of course, was so named because you could
open up the front door and open up the back
door and shoot a gun all the way through it. You had a room in the front
that was the living room, you had a room in the middle
that was often the bedroom, and he had a room in the
back that was the kitchen. We donated that house to the
Boone County Historical Society and physically picked
it up from that lot and moved it out
to what I lovingly refer to as an architectural
petting zoo at the Boone County historical society, where it’s
probably had the best life it’s seen in a hundred years. It’s got a new foundation
and a new roof, and the original
siding has been painted and the great Chris Campbell
and the great folks at the Boone Historical Society
are working to make that a living memorial and
museum to the Land Reclamation Commission that
in effect removed a lot of the derelict
houses in that area. The author of the
Columbia Missourian story, A Street Divided, ends
her story by standing on the third floor of the
Columbia Public Library and looking out the window
at Grant Elementary, named after Ulysses S. Grant. And she remarks how
kids of all races– and our son went to
Grant Elementary, and there’s probably 27
different languages that are spoke there, and
a number of countries that are represented there. And she says on
the playground you can see black kids
and white kids and Latinos and Asians
all playing together, but when the final bell rings
the division occurs “one family at a time” she writes. “Of those on foot, the black
children with few exceptions head north along Garth
Avenue, across Broadway, and the white children, with
a few exceptions, head south.” This effort to integrate and
balance not just our zoning laws, but our community,
is still, in many ways a work in progress. Last year the city
council set out on an ambitious reform
many years in the making to update Columbia’s
outdated zoning code, to better apply those
rigorous standards and equity to every neighborhood. And so that we no
longer allow people to do in someone
else’s neighborhood that they wouldn’t do
to their own neighbor. It’s that love thy
neighbor commandment, regardless of who they
might be, that has inspired our next presentation. At this time could I have James
and Kathy Bayless come forward. And Councilman Trapp,
would you join us? So James and Kathy operate
Fresh Start Management. They buy and rehabilitate
dilapidated central city houses and offer them as
low cost rentals to individuals in recovery. Through their efforts
60 individuals have the stability
of a home while focusing on the challenges
of day to day recovery. The Bayless’ use of their time
and their personal resources and treasure to
help others recover from the ravages of alcoholism
and substance abuse disorders while rebuilding our community
and improving our neighbors by improving
substandard housing. And by integrating
those who feel lost in recovery into the
fiber of our community they’re also creating the
stability that are needed. And they’ve continued
this journey, as they too have faced
challenges with Kathy’s struggle with cancer. I want to share a proclamation
that Councilman Trapp and I worked together on. Whereas Kathy and James Bayless
have powerful personal stories of recovery from
substance use disorders, and whereas having an affordable
sober living environment is essential for many
individuals early in recovery, and whereas Kathy and James
started Fresh Start Property Management to address this
unmet need in Columbia. And whereas Fresh Start
has purchased and restored 11 dilapidated houses
throughout central Columbia by providing
housing and recovery support to 60 low income
individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. And whereas Fresh Start Homes
allow an individual in recovery an opportunity to
live and interact with others on similar
paths of personal growth. Fresh Start homes are
located on bus routes and within walking and biking
distance from downtown, and treatment centers, and
business districts, and 12 step meetings, and social
service centers. Fresh Start has not only
helped its residents, but also preserved
affordable building stock, maintained the physical
character of central Columbia, and helped stabilize
our neighborhoods. Now therefore, I, Brian Treece,
Mayor of the City of Columbia proclaim Friday,
April 6 as Kathy and James Bayless Day
in the City of Columbia. Thank you, members. Yesterday I quoted
Dr. King’s speech on Soldier Field in
July 1966 in Chicago. You may have heard me reference
that shared garment of destiny. James and Kathy by
their acts embody this. They are showing that those
people who are facing difficult challenges, both in recovery
and in our community and the rebuilding the lives
that are there for them, they too have a place
in our community. And by restoring homes
in the central city, they are showing neighborhoods
that they care and they’re helping create that
community with, again, that tapestry that garment of
destiny with many, many fibers. You too have the
opportunity to change our community and the
power to change lives. Access to fair and
affordable housing is the power to provide
opportunity to others, whether that be the opportunity
to get a quality education, to have access to health care,
to get fresh food, fresh job opportunities, transportation,
or even recovery. I want to thank you
for coming today and for joining us
on this journey. I wish you great luck
in your studies today, and thank you for helping us
build this beloved community. Wow, the mayor is always
a tough act to follow. I don’t have the same
power to proclaim things, but I will well proclaim
that to be really awesome. That is really cool. Just a few housekeeping
things before we get into the rest of
the speakers for today. Smile, you’re on camera. Not all of you, but
the speakers and then for the question and answer
period the microphone in the center there. So I’ll ask for the
people viewing at home that if you do have
questions of the speakers as they go through the program
that you will come and ask your question there, or if
you’re really, really eager I know Rose has a
microphone in the back. And Bill has Bill’s
microphone over there. But for the benefit of the
people who couldn’t be here but are listening from home, you
know, if you do have a question we’ll ask that you use
that use a microphone. Bathrooms, as you probably
know, are located in the lobby. So you take a right out that
door, turn right at the robot, and then just beyond
the robot there’s the bathrooms on
the right again. If you go past the
bathrooms on the left there’s an awesome display
of Columbia’s history around fair housing
ordinance that rose worked really
hard to put together. So if you get a chance
during one of the breaks I highly recommend that
you check that out. Today’s program has also been
approved for 5.4 MCLE hours. If you are an attorney and
you would like those hours, make sure you sign it at
the registration table. And it’s also been billed as
an Inclusive Excellence event. So if you’re going through
that passport of Inclusive Excellence programs you can
get your passport stamped at the registration
table as well. Your materials include a survey,
so make sure you fill that out. And you’ll want to turn that in. There’s a box there. At the end of the day
you can drop it in there, or if you have to leave
before the end of the day, please make sure that
you do give some feedback to continue making this event
a great thing in the future. So with that housekeeping
out of the way, I’m going to introduce our first
major speaker of the day, Randy Cole. Just a little bit
of his bona fides. Randy holds a master’s degree
in public administration from the Truman School
of Public Affairs. He worked for Central Missouri
Community Action as the Energy Conservation
Coordinator where he oversaw the Department
of Energy’s low income weatherization program, serving
eight counties in mid Missouri. Randy is the housing
program supervisor for the City of Columbia. He oversees the city’s
affordable housing efforts as well as other community
and economic development efforts funded in part by the
Community Development Block grant and the Home Program. Randy will be
presenting an update on the city’s affordable housing
and the city’s new community land trust, which
I’m particularly excited about because
I have a friend is looking to buy one of those. But let’s welcome Randy Cole. Thank you, Zach, and
thank you Mayor Treece. That was a great
lead into the day, and as well as some of the
information I’m going to cover. And also thanks to
Rose Wibbenmeyer. She does a great job putting
this event together every year. And it’s a lot of work, but it
seems to get better and better every year that we do it. So today I’m going
to cover two topics. Affirmatively Furthering
Fair Housing as it relates to the
city requirements. That’s a mouthful but
it’s extremely important. It’s important that the
city demonstrate it does it. And then also I
was going to relate to some of our
affordable housing needs, as well as what community
land trusts are. And Rose asked me to also tie-in
the Columbia community land trusts as it relates to
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and affordable
housing in general. So we can go a lot of
directions with this. So my goal is to give you some
good, firm foundation and each of those two topics, and then
if we have some time at the end I’ll take some questions. So excuse me for
the text heavy slide here, but this is our HUD
regs taken directly from them on what we’re required
to do as a city in terms of Affirmatively
Furthering Fair Housing. And HUD says that means
taking meaningful actions in addition to combating
discrimination, that overcome patterns
of segregation and foster inclusive communities
free from the barriers that restrict access to
opportunity based on protected characteristics. So that is a big responsibility
that we have to do. So not only did we need to take
those laws off the books that were discriminatory,
we have to show that we’re taking
meaningful actions to undo some of those
discriminatory policies of the past. And we’ve done that in the
past through a tool called the analysis of impediments to
fair housing choice, or the AI. That’s how we
demonstrated to HUD that we’re doing all of these
things that were Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. And that’s how we’ve
done that in the past. More recently, under the
Obama administration, we’re required with
a new final rule to do what’s called the
Assessment of Fair Housing. What’s interesting with the
change in administrations, there was an effort to take that
law off the books, so to speak, and for cities to
not be required to do the more robust process of
the Assessment of Fair Housing Need. But that went to court
and the court ruled against the new
administration and said, no, you can’t take
that off the book. What’s been
interesting since then is there’s been a new effort
to delay its implementation. So we’ve been planning as a city
to start our new fair housing task force to meet the
new robust requirements of the Assessment
of Fair Housing but in December, there
was an announcement that we were going to be
delayed in being required to implement that rule. So presents a lot of challenges. Definitely see some challenges
at our HUD field office, didn’t get a lot of specific
direction, but who knows? That might go to court, so
it seems like a good effort to go ahead and do our
Assessment of Fair Housing, but doing it under the
name of our analysis to impediments to fair housing
choice just to make sure we’re covered in case
that all goes to court. So that kind of
shows the challenges of working between
different entities and how Federal
policy can really impact local policy and our
ability to be effective. So what does that mean,
more specifically, to affirmatively
further fair housing? It means we have to address
disparities in housing. We have to make sure people
have access to opportunities in their neighborhoods, meaning
jobs, good transportation, you know, good
neighborhood amenities. We have to transform racially
and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into
areas of opportunity. And then fostering and
maintaining compliance with civil rights and
fair housing laws. Really bullet points
three and four for me are really powerful,
because it tells us we need to do two things. We need to make sure all
different types of people, no matter what cultural
or ethnic background you come from, that you’re
able to have social mobility and have choice of where
you live in the community. But then also, we need to be
investing in neighborhoods that maybe have been
disinvested in the past, or that have some racially
concentrated areas. So we really need to be doing
two different things there that are very important. So we have a new
fair housing task force that the
application period is open through the
end of this week. It’s going to consist of 16
members, two council co-chair persons, some folks
from existing boards and commissions that relate
to the effort, and then a diverse cross-section
of community members. But if there is interest
from people in this audience the city is taking applications
through the end of today. And the council
will hopefully have a good enough pool, or
a broad enough pool, to make appointments and one
of the upcoming meetings. So the purpose of the
group, the main purpose will be to make sure we
meet our AFFH requirements for our consolidated plan. Because if we don’t,
as a community, demonstrate that we’re
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing HUD can
withhold funding. There can also be
potential legal action. The most recent one I read about
that was the city of Houston. There was a public
housing development, I think it was a
Litech development that didn’t get approved
due to some nimbyism or didn’t make it
up for approval, so HUD came in and
took some action and they had to come up
with some additional money. So they can be a big deal
if we don’t demonstrate that we’re doing this. So the purpose of the
group, main purpose will be to make sure
we’re meeting our Federal requirements and
going through the tool that HUD says we need
to go through that is a really effective tool. But also assist in engaging the
public, because I think when you’re addressing any
kind of affordable housing or fair housing needs we need
to engage the people that are impacted by this
the most and make sure they’re part
of the process. Another purpose
of the group will be to review data
and analyze data from staff and local experts
and community partners, review public input, and
then provide recommendations to our city council. So kind of switching gears on
the needs in our community, we have about 46,000
housing units. Our renters face
the most challenges and being housing costs
burdened or paying more than 30% of their monthly gross
income on housing costs. About 12,700 households,
and about 7,500 of those paid 50% or more on their
monthly income on that. That’s the really scary number. Those are the folks that are
really averse to being evicted, to being housing
instable, really being in a situation
where it’s hard to think long term about life enrichment
activities of additional job training and other
things that other people in different housing
situations get to enjoy. Our average monthly rent is
about $803 dollars per month. Our average median
sold price is $185,000. If you look back
at the year 2000 that number was around $119,000. So we’ve seen quite a
bit of appreciation, which makes it more challenging
for lower income families to be able to enjoy the
benefits of homeownership and build wealth
and pass that wealth on to their future generations. This is a summary
of those challenges. Our median income
is about $45,000. When we talk about addressing
affordable housing, really what we’re doing
is we’re addressing that gap between what people
can afford for housing and what it actually
costs to build housing. So I think when we’re talking
about any kind of policy, if it’s investing
more public resources or if it’s implementing more
regulations, no matter what approach you’re taking
we’re always filling that gap between what
people can afford and what it costs
to build housing. Either you’re filling it with
resources, Federal, local, or using regulations to get the
market to help fill that gap. In terms of where the
affordable housing is I think this relates really
well to Mayor Treece’s opening presentation, and
it demonstrates that just simply taking
discriminatory laws off the books doesn’t
make the high impact changes that we need. This is where we need to
take meaningful actions. So this map shows a heat
map of affordability. So the dark green
parcels are residentially zoned parcels that
are more affordable. The dark red parcels
are the parcels that are less affordable. And we are using
county assessor data. So you can see if you
go to the southwest it’s a little less affordable. Just to the north and just
to the west of downtown is more affordable, as well as
up to the north and northeast. And here you can really see
the economic segregation. Mayor Treece talked
about Broadway being the dividing line,
and you can actually still see that
dividing line is there when you’re talking about
the value of properties between north and south there. Another thing that
I think we need to be mindful of as decision
makers and policy advocates is the impact that those
efforts of the past have on the central city area
and how we can bring that to the current time
context for strategies for addressing some of those. If you look at
from 1990 to 2010, this map shows the
African-American population change by number,
by census blocks. So dark red part,
census blocks are where numbers are decreasing. Darker green blocks are
where numbers are increasing. So you can see there’s a
migration of African-Americans out of the central city
and to the periphery, particularly to
the to northeast. And typically when people
migrate, it’s out of necessity. So that suggests that
there’s something going on there and
something that we need to monitor and
think about when we’re thinking about investing
in affordable housing. This is another data point
I’ve been looking at is LLC own property concentration,
residential property . Because this is what could
suggest some potential market speculation where
there’s partials that are fairly inexpensive. In the central city,
we’ve got about 18.87% of those residential
parcels are LLC owned. The remainder of
the city is 10%. And these are census
tracks seven, nine, and 21. So that’s something
else to be mindful of. If there’s groups of
people being displaced, that’s a problem unto itself. And could this mean there
could be a greater potential for economic integration
in this neighborhood now by grabbing up
affordability while it’s there? Potentially so. Let me shift gears and talk
about community land trust. So who in audience has heard
of a community land trust? Most everybody. So that’s good. Hopefully, I can help
spread some education on what they are, as
well as maybe clear up some misunderstandings
of some of our efforts or what community land
trusts are and how they work. So they’re typically nonprofit
community-based corporations. They typically qualify
for 501(c)(3) status. The traditional
community land trust has the three-part
governance structure where the board is made up
of one third neighborhood members, one third broader
community members that represent different
industry expertise, and then a third
there are homeowners. And most community land trusts
have their bylaws set up to where none of
these groups can have more power than
the other, to were you have to have a quorum– you have to have everybody
from each group represented. And it’s a great
way to make sure all the key stakeholders
are at the table and that policies are reflective
of the community as a whole. Community land trusts basically
provide, at their core mission homeownership,
opportunities for families that otherwise would not be
able to have homeownership. And they do this by separating
the land from the improvements or the structure from the land. And this allows the community
land trust to significantly write down the price. Sometimes you’ll hear people
say, well, it takes the land costs out of the deal. That’s not necessarily true. We typically take more
than that out of the deal, because the gap between
what’s affordable and what a lower income
family can afford is typically greater than that
difference in our community. The land is retained
in ownership by the community land trust. And then they
authorize its usage through a 99-year ground lease
that’s renewable, inheritable. So in practicality,
it’s basically forever. The improvements are
sold in affordable price according to what
the local needs are and what the local
board determines as affordable for
the specific families that we’re wanting to serve. Really, if you thinking
about the families that were serving with
community land trust homes, we’re serving those
people that are right in between being able
to rent and be able to get into a market rate ownerships. So we’re serving that that group
that’s really between $30,000 to $50,000 gross annual income. So it really provides
an opportunity to get into homeownership,
build some equity, and then get up into the
market rate ownership. What we know nationwide is seven
out of 10 community land trust homeowners move on and up and
the market rate ownership. So here in Columbia, we have
a bit of a unique structure. But there’s other
communities that have this structure
around the nation. But it’s not the
traditional model. So our city took steps to start
its own community land trust that is a separate 501(c)(3). But the board is appointed
by our city council. And the city council
allocates funds and lands to the community trust board. The board really governs policy
of how the land is steward. That’s really the key function
of our community land trust and most community land
trust is stewardship, because we’ve been creating
affordable housing for decades in our community. But really the
missing link has been how do we make sure where we
invest in affordable housing that it stays affordable,
well-maintained for future generations, particularly
when the cost of constructing affordable housing is going up. And the need is
going up as well. And the ability for folks
to afford it is going down. So we need to make sure those
precious resources and dollars are protected for people
beyond our generations. So our board also had
the council liaison. Councilman Trap has
been instrumental since we were just
discussing this as a concept, we’re very thankful
for his help, Really helps connect city policy
to the community land trust board and helps
the city truly have a partnership between
the community land trust. City staff does most of
the implementation and work of implementing our
stewardship policies, developing accounting
procedures, recording our expenditures–
kind of doing all the work at the ground level. These are some of the first
homes that we’ve developed. We’ve been improving the
housing that we developed ever since about 2013. What we really want to stress
if we’re thinking about building housing for
generations beyond us, it’s really important
that we think about building very nice,
very durable homes that anyone would want to live in. So most of our homes are
three bedroom, two bath about 1,300 square foot. So they are modestly
sized, but they are UNF rooms to where if you’re
a single mother with two kids, your kids can have their own
bedrooms, which is really nice. So this project also really
represents a great partnership between the city, the nonprofit
sector, and the private sector. When we’re talking about
solving community problems, particularly with
affordable housing, you need all those key
stakeholders at the table. You need the expertise and the
capacity of the private sector, as well as funding when we’re
working with local community banks. Providence banks has been very
instrumental in supporting this project with financing. And then you also need
the nonprofit sector with their altruistic
goals to really help the community
and their connections to the neighborhoods
and low income people and really being in tune
with what people need. And then you need the
city’s capacity and backing to make sure what we’re doing is
consistent with public policy, rules, and regulations
and so forth. And this is a great
example project of that. We still do have
homes available. I think there might be a
few realtors in the room. If they are, just to give
you a breakdown of what the costs are. So they can you and
trust appraised value is $117,000 for these homes. That’s different than
a traditional fee simple appraisal. But the base price
to the buyer– so what we have determined
as affordable through a lot of research and looking
back at previous projects– is about $95,000. For a household, about 50%
AMI, between the 50% and 80% AMI, which means your monthly
costs, your principal interest, taxes, and insurance and
then the monthly lease fee that the land trusts charges
for operations of the land trusts gets to about $650. And if you look back to our
original slide, for rent the average rent rate in
Columbia is about $803. So this is an
extremely good deal. We have two of our first
six homes under contract. I know Habitat has had theirs
under contract as well. So that’ll be a third. And these are the
requirements of the buyer. They have to be at 80% AMI. So this is the maximum
income that they can be at, gross annual income
depending on household size. And really the only
restrictions are who you can resell the
home to and for how much. So the community land
trust says for being able to have this opportunity
to buy a home at $95,000 that’s a net zero energy usage
home, three bedroom, two bath with a garage, that– depending on where you
built it in town– might be worth upwards of
$150,000 or $175,000, because you’ve had
this opportunity, you need to pay it
forward to the next buyer. So we allow the buyers to
keep all the equity that they pay down on their mortgage. And these mortgages are very
similar to any mortgage. And they sell in the
secondary market. But we only allow buyers
keep 25% of the appreciation. So that way we never have to
invest additional public funds to make this affordable
for future generations and that initial investment
ends up serving four or five, six, seven different households
over the first 30 years. It’s a much more
efficient use of funds than just doing a
one time investment and then not paying attention
to where that money goes. Another key data point I
wanted to share with the group was the impact that this
has on our tax base. We’ve got another
project coming up that we just have a
sales contract put under in place that involves
three large lots, close to an acre. And if you look at what
that vacant land was collecting in tax revenue, one
lot was about $181 per year. The other was $154. And if you look at– I think we can potentially
fit 12 homes on this site– what the assessment
would be on those. And this is an estimate
$1,000 for home off of working with
our county assessor. And looking at
previous projects, I think it’s pretty
close number we’ll go from collecting $336 of the
community in property taxes on these three lots to $12,000. So if we analyze
that over 10 years, that’s a huge impact We’re
only doing on 12 homes, and the need’s greater. But that that’s a big impact. So I think it’s a
great way to show that not only is affordable
housing a good tool for improving lives
in neighborhoods, it’s also a really good
economic development tool. Circling back to some of the
Affirmatively Furthering Fair housing part of the
presentation and connecting it to our community land
trust, a key policy question I’ve been thinking about
over the last year or more is where should
the community land trust affordable housing efforts
be focused most immediately. What’s our biggest need? Where should we be
developing housing? Because really we should,
over the long term, we’d be doing two things–
revitalizing our central city neighborhoods but also
being able to provide some opportunities out in
different parts of town on the periphery. But for me– and this is just
my own personal opinion– I’ve landed on, I
think, those census tracks 7, 9, and 21 right now
have the most immediate need. And you could potentially get
your biggest bang for buck on economically integrating
that area as the downtown development expands outward
on the neighborhoods. I think it’ll be
able to maintain some affordable
units for families being potentially pushed out. The land’s more affordable so
it makes good economic sense. And there’s greater opportunity
to impact our tax base. So that’s just some
of the reasons. But certainly long term, we need
to be thinking about getting options all over our city. But just thinking of
our scarce resources and our most immediate needs,
that’s where I’ve ended. But really– my
final slide here– a key message I want to
leave everyone with– and then I’ll be done
and ready for questions– is we could come up
with the best policies to solve all these
problems with the best data that’s the most beautiful
policy reflective of the truth. But really we have
to effectively engage community members
that are impacted the most by this public
policy to even get anywhere. So I think it’s
really important when we’re talking about solving
these community issues, you have to have the
people at the table that you’re trying
to serve there as a part of the discussion. With that, I’ll
take any questions. Do I need to come up to the mic? I think so. With the monthly lease
fees, what rate are they in? And also what happens
if a person gets behind in payments on the lease fees? Yeah. So we have a monthly
lease fee of $30 plus a $10 maintenance
and repair fund that we’re also
going to capitalize on when we sell the homes so
that 10, 15 years down the road we’ve built up some funds
for if a roof needs replaced or a water heater needs
replacing– so about $40 per month. And that kind of plays into
how we subsidize the home. Going from $170,000
down to $95,000 takes away the need for PMI. So we figured that
could help fill that gap and keep it affordable. What was your other question? If a person gets behind. Oh yeah. So with our first
home sales, we’re including their ground lease fee
payment in an escrow account. So it will be with
our whole payment. So if they get behind
on their lease fee, they’re likely behind
on their mortgage. And we know the bank will
be calling them a day or two afterwards. So it really puts the bank in
the driver’s seat of addressing that when it comes up. But the great thing about the
community land trust model is we’re going to be able to
keep an ongoing relationship with that homebuyer and not
just leave it up to chance and kind of leave
them out there. So if there’s something we can
do to help step in and help them, either kind of
right the ship of getting their payments back on
track, we can do that and we have that ability. Or if they get to a point where
maybe this isn’t for them, maybe it wasn’t a
good decision, we can help go find another buyer
to come in and assume that loan and avoid a foreclosure
on an individual and the neighborhood. So that’s the real benefit
of the community land trust. All right. And got more, Nick. What are you guys looking
for in terms of acquisition of new properties,
and what’s going to be the process
for doing that, And how are you targeting
that and so forth? Yeah, well, the
resources are scarce. So we’re typically going to be
buying two to three properties per year. So given that, what
we’ve done in the past is looked at where we
developed homes before, where we have a higher impact. Since we’re not
doing a big number and doing a big sweeping
change to the need, how can we really
impact our neighborhood? So we’ve been strategically
trying to do purchases in areas where we’re
already doing development, also doing other improvements
like doing more infrastructure improvements, trying
to get some synergy around our previous efforts. Also you have to be a bit
opportunistic too as well. A lot of the properties that
people come up and say, hey, this could be a good potential
sell might have title issues, might have family disputes
between who wants to sell and who doesn’t. So sometimes you have
to balance with where is a good strategic
decision, but you also have to be a bit pragmatic and
go after what you can afford and what actually could
have a clear title and be feasible for developing. Yeah? I’m not sure how to
actually word this. But all the student
housing apartments that have gone up mostly on
the west side of town, with the rumors
of there are going to be a lot of
vacancies coming up, is that a possibility
to turn those into some affordable housing,
for example, for folks young adults with disabilities? Do you have those kinds
of housing arrangements with all those vacant places
that are opening maybe? I guess anything’s possible. We do have a lot of agencies
in town with a lot of capacity that have done similar
efforts like the housing authority redeveloping
the old hotel over there and Welcome Home. So that’s a good innovative
effort but certainly that would be a possibility. But what that would
likely take would be an entity with
a lot of capacity and the ability to
get other resources from outside community
like through MHDC or something of that sort. I would think that would be the
most likely way that a scenario like that would happen. Are you currently working on
those with less than $30,000 annual income? We have sold some homes
to people below that area. It’s typically older–
we’ve had a couple of older windows on a very
fixed income that also had a significant amount to
make a down payment to decrease their price. But usually, we’re
serving people between $30 and 50,000, the most
people when we’re talking about homeownership. We want to be very thoughtful
about not getting someone into homeownership
that can’t afford that. Because there are people
that are just at a level where they need to
be renting until you get to a greater income. I don’t think we’d
be doing anybody any favors if we set them up
for failure in homeownership The reason I was
asking because dealing with the homeless for
the last nine years, I’ve always wanted to see the
homeless shelters go forward. Never have heard
any more discussion, wondering what’s going to
become of the nine years some of these individuals
are still on our streets. This past Sunday at church,
these people showed up. And I was absolutely floored. I figured that they had
gotten out of homelessness, and they had not. One last question,
how long do they serve as a board
member on the trust? Our first terms were staggered. So the first people appointed
were three, two, and one years. And that was so we
could intentionally get started on
track where we only had two board
members potentially going off at a time. Going forward, once
people are appointed in a more traditional seat,
it’s a four year term. So I think I’m
about out of time. If anyone has any
further questions, I’d be happy to connect with
you I’ll hang round the back. Thank you, Randy. So I’ll let you
know we will have a break after the next speaker. And I’ll announce
more about that then. But now our next speaker is
going to be Dr. Gary Kramer. He’s a fifth
generation Missourian who earned his PhD from American
University in Washington DC He has written coauthored
or co-edited 12 books. That’s a lot, that’s
something to aspire to. Previously, Dr. Kramer taught
history at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, William
Woods University in Fulton. He also served as state
archivist of Missouri from 1987 to 1991. He has been the State
Historical Society of Missouri’s executive director since 2004. Let’s go ahead and
welcome Dr. Kramer. Good morning. I have no slides. It’s just me. And it’s a history lecture so
I’ll wake you when it’s over. Let me tell you a bit about
why I care about this issue. Essentially, I saw what
the title of my talk is. But what it really is
kind of the fair housing struggle in Missouri with
a historical background. I grew up in a county
with one black person. In the 1950s and early 60s, I
didn’t know any black people. In fact, I thought the whole
world was Catholic and German. Integration for me came when
a Southern Baptist family tried to send their little girl
to Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic School. That was integration. It didn’t work out real
well, I’m ashamed to say. I went to Lincoln University
as an undergraduate student in Jefferson City, which was
30 miles from where I grew up. And I went there not because
it was Missouri’s historically black college, but
because it was affordable, and it was close to home. Nobody in my family had
ever gone to college. My parents didn’t
go to high school because there was
no high school. And in fact– this
is a confessional. I’m and old Catholic,
I’m good at this. I went to college to
be a social worker. I had always hated history. In fact, I can’t believe I
spent my career as a historian. History is always been taught
to me as names and dates and places you had to memorize. I wasn’t very good at
it, never understood why dead people should
influence live people’s lives. And so I was going
to save the world. Like many children of
the 60s, I was heavily influenced by John
Kennedy’s inaugural address, by the first nonfiction book I
ever read– the Other American by Michael Harrington. And I went to Washington
University to study sociology. And I was troubled by two things
that were going on in my world. One was the Vietnam War,
deeply troubled me partially because, I think,
I was draft age. But I was very troubled. Why was this going on? And then suddenly in April of
1967, 51 years ago this month, my best friend was
missing in Vietnam. He’s never been
found, still missing. That made me understand
why is this happening. Second thing that
troubled me deeply was the riots of 1965,
starting with Watts and Newark and Detroit and most especially
after Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968. And again, I envisioned myself
being a social worker in one of those cities that’s burning. And I thought to
myself, you know, you better try to
figure this out. So I enrolled in a– what was
then called a Negro history class taught by– I didn’t know at the time–
one of the preeminent black scholars in the country, a
guy named Lorenzo Greene. Lorenzo Greene was a
graduate research assistant in the late 1920s for a guy
named Carter Woodson who was the father of the black
history movement in Washington d.c. Somehow, Green and I hit it off. And 40 years after Greene was
Woodson’s research assistant, I became Greene’s
research assistant. And I transferred my desire
to be a social worker and work among marginalized
people to a desire to understand the history
of marginalized people and how we had
gotten to the world that I was living
in the late 1960s. I tell you that to explain
my obsessions, my obsession. I’ve spent 50 years roughly
thinking about, writing about, researching, teaching
African-American history in Missouri. And there’s a lot of
lessons I’ve learned. My first one of the
classes I taught was to 25 Missouri State
Penitentiary inmates who were all
Muslim, and that was an interesting and
enlightening experience. But I want to
explain what I think is a fundamental
issue that’s not being addressed with regard to
race today by way of a story. Roughly– it was in
1995 I was working on a project on the history of
Kinloch Missouri in St. Louis County. If you go to Kinloch
today, you’ll see people still living
in houses with three sides and in terrible,
terrible circumstances. But there was a time when
Kinloch was a great migration city with stable two
parent households, no teenage pregnancy, no drugs,
no problems of the kind we would associate with
the inner city today. So I’m working on this project
on the history of Kinloch. And there’s a guy
recently retired, a very successful
African-American businessman, who is volunteering to
help me on this project because he’s interested in it. And so one day he says,
let’s go to lunch. And so we go to lunch in his
red Corvette, not my old Chevy. And it happens to be the week
the O.J. Simpson jury is out. And so I– who think
O.J. Is guilty– to strike up conversations
or make conversation, say to my friend Bill, Bill,
the jury is out and O.J. He says, the jury is out. I say, only one conclusion
they can come to. Yeah, he says, only
one conclusion. He kind of paused for effect. And he said, he’s innocent. And I’m staggered. How can this guy not
see this the way I do? And he proceeds to
gently and softly tell me that as a black man driving
a red Corvette in St. Louis, he’s been roasted
by more policemen then you can count
who, first of all, assume he’s stolen the car. And when he can finally prove to
them he hasn’t stolen the car, their next assumption
is that he’s either a pimp or a drug dealer. What was he saying to me? He was saying that his
history and my history were fundamentally different. And what is the difference? Our race. I would suggest to you– and I don’t want to be mistaken. That’s why I’ve already
checked out the back door. I would suggest to you that
in a very fundamental way in America, in
Missouri, in Columbia, black people and white people
see the world differently. And we see the world
differently because we have different histories. If I’m right about
that, doesn’t it make sense that we to
understand each other’s history? And especially white
folks ought to understand black people’s history because
black people get white history. But white folks rarely hear
much about black history. So my comments today, I have
a number of assumptions. One of which is things
are not a whole lot better than they were 50 years ago. Forgive me if I’m
shattering your illusions. You can just dismiss me as an
cranky old history professor. Well, I’ll get to a
couple of points here. But what I want to do is
spend a little bit of time just trying to explain how
we got to where we are today, because it seems
to me that that’s a critical starting point. And when the person who made
the presentation before me concluded with the
thought that there has to be community
involvement in decisions to be made moving forward– and I couldn’t agree more. I mean, I’d like to
pick up on that thought. I think that that, in fact, in
any fair housing discussion, there has to be tremendous
input from the people who are going to use that housing
or who want to use that housing. And again with all due respect,
how do you talk to people about $117,000 house
if they have no job or if they have no money
multi-generationally? It’s an enormous challenge. It transcends the
issue of housing. So I want to go back
to begin my comments. Or you were kind of thinking
maybe I’m done, but– Let’s go back to the passage
of the 1968 Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act. That act was signed into
law on April 11th, 1968. And maybe you’ve
heard all this already because this is really my first
involvement with this seminar. It’s worth remembering that– it’s worth remembering the
context of that law’s passage. It was passed one week after
Martin Luther King was killed in Memphis, Tennessee by James
Earl Ray, a Missouri State Penitentiary escapee who had
been incarcerated in Jefferson City for an armed robbery
of $120 at a Kroger store in St. Louis. I have a friend,
recently deceased, longtime Lincoln University
professor who was driving down Interstate 70 when he heard
about King’s assassination and his instant reaction was,
damn, I’ll bet the killer was from Missouri. He was from Virginia. Ray, by the way,
had been on the Lam for nearly a year when he
killed King on April 4th, 1968 in Memphis. The Housing Act of 1968
was passed by Congress and signed by President
Lyndon Johnson while riots were still raging
in more than 100 cities in America, including our
nation’s capital, Washington, DC and Kansas City, Missouri. At least seven people were
killed in the Kansas City riot. It’s worth remembering also
that the so-called Kerner Commission, which had been
formed a year before in July of 1967 to try to assess the
cause of the riots in 1967, issued its report on February
29th, 1968, just a few weeks before King was killed. A major conclusion of
the Kerner Commission was that quote “Our nation is
moving toward two societies, one black, one white. Separate and unequal.” The most important point I feel
compelled to make here today is that 50 years after
the passage of the Housing Act of 1968 and the
assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., race still
matters in this country. Race still matters in
this city, in this state. It doesn’t matter in some
sense that the Civil War ended 153 years ago and that the
13th Amendment to the US Constitution abolished
slavery soon after the war. It doesn’t matter that the
14th Amendment guaranteed equal protection of the
law to all citizens, and that the 15th Amendment
guaranteed them the right to vote. It doesn’t matter that racial
segregation has been outlawed, or that this country
twice elected an African-American president. Race still matters. It still matters in virtually
every aspect of our lives. It matters in health care,
it matters in education, it matters in our
relationships to the law, it matters in regard
to income and wealth, and it matters in housing. According to a recent
Forbes study race matters when it
comes to household wealth, wealth that families
are able to accumulate over multiple generations. A typical white household
in the United States in the second decade
of the 20th century has 16 times the wealth
of a black family, a black household. In absolute terms,
in 2011 at least, the median white household had
$111,146 in wealth holdings compared to $7,113 for the
median black household. These are figures come
from the Census Bureau. It matters in wages. The reality is that over
the last 40 years, 30 years the average household
wealth of white families has grown 87% while that of
black families has grown 27%. According to CNN Money,
a 2016 study quote “If current trends
persist it will take 228 years for
black families to accumulate the same amount
of wealth as whites.” Why? The first of the three main
factors behind this wealth gap is homeownership. Homeownership is
the central vehicle Americans use to store
and transfer wealth. So homeownership and
access to ownership are at the heart of the
widening wealth gap. 73% of whites own a home,
45% percent of blacks. Much of the gap in value,
because the value of white’s homes is on average
about $30,000 more than black owned
homes, much of the gap can be explained by the
location of property– property owned by blacks
versus that owned by whites. Property in a neighborhood
occupied primarily by African-Americans is
worth significantly less than property located
in white neighborhoods. Much of that disparity can
be explained by redlining, historically. A practice that– and you know
redlining is– a practice that consisted, and I
would suggest still consists of refusing a loan
or insurance to someone or charge them more
for a loan or insurance because they live
in an area deemed to be a poor financial risk. This practice was formalized
with the 1934 National Housing Act. It was formalized by
the Federal government in the 1930s, a
Federal government that was obsessed with trying to help
us get out of the Depression and to stabilize
the home market. The 1934 National Housing Act
redlined black neighborhoods, marking them as credit risks. Although redlining was
outlawed in the 1960s, it persists today. A February 18th, 2018
article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says this– “In the St. Louis
metropolitan area, African-Americans who apply
for conventional mortgage loans are 2 and 1/2 times
more likely to be denied than are non-Hispanic whites. They also pay higher
interest rates.” And that’s in 2018. The second major factor
for this wealth gap is the persistent education gap. And I know we’re not
here to talk about that, but education matters,
and the educational gap between blacks and whites
is actually widening today. Whites are far more likely
to graduate from college than are blacks,
and the latter are more likely to
accumulate more student debt throughout their
college careers. The white return on investment
in a college education is much higher than
that for blacks, which leads to the third factor,
the matter of income and wages. According to a 2016 the Economic
Policy Institute report, the wage gap between
blacks and whites is the worst it’s
been in 40 years. Roughly $25 an hour
for whites, $18 an hour for blacks, if you can get a job
because the high unemployment rate for African-Americans
is significant. I mentioned the
1934 Housing Act, but the problems with
housing discrimination did not begin in the 1930s. And here comes the
history lesson. Those problems
can be traced back to at least the middle
of the Civil War. There’s a quiz
when I’m finished. So you probably
know hopefully you know that the 1863 Emancipation
Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln did not free Missouri slaves. It freed only those slaves in
states that were officially in rebellion and Missouri
wasn’t officially in rebellion. But there was a provision in
the Emancipation Proclamation that had a profound
effect on Missouri blacks, and that was it authorized the
recruitment of black soldiers in Missouri and elsewhere
into the Union Army. That was profoundly important
because Union soldiers began to recruit black
men to serve in the army. Slave owners, if they were
willing to allow their slave to be recruited into the
army got $300 as a bounty. The black soldier got nothing. But imagine this. Imagine what it must have
been like in Boone and Howard and Cooper in the Boonslick,
or Little Dixie, when white men started going
up and down the river recruiting black
men into the army. White men who owned
slaves were enraged, and the result was a tremendous
amount of guerrilla activity with white men, especially
young white men, terrorizing black
men, hanging them. There was a famous
notorious gorilla here in Boone County
named Jim Jackson who was notorious for lynching and
whipping and beating blacks as a way of trying to
intimidate them and keep them from enlisting in the army. What was the reaction? What was the response? Because this is, I
think, very important. Black families, but
especially black men began to flee the countryside
and head for towns and villages,
especially villages where union soldiers
were garrisoned, hoping for two things– to
find some security in numbers and also the
protection of troops. So if you look at a
county like Boone, you actually see– and
others just fled the state, went to Iowa or Kansas. So if you look at what
happened in Boone County, in Cooper County,
and Howard County, the outlying countryside
looses black population but the towns in the villages
increased dramatically in black population. Does that make sense? That is extremely, extremely
significant it seems to me. Between 1863 in 1865– and you
can find newspaper accounts for example of
African-Americans swimming across the Missouri River from
Callaway and Boone counties to get to Jefferson City because
there were Federal troops garrisoned in Jefferson City. You can also find a
tremendous white backlash against that
migration of blacks, to the point where
whites threatened to run the black migrants out of town. As the winter of
1864-65 approached the Missouri State
Times, which was published in Jefferson
City, feared a human tragedy in the making. Under the title,
The Colored People in Jefferson City and Vicinity,
What Is To Become of Them? the paper asked this question,
how are the colored people here to live through
the coming winter? The paper acknowledged that
many of them occupying little, quote, “occupying little
outbuildings, which are too small and too open to
live in during cold weather” Interestingly the
paper didn’t call for better housing for them. Rather it called for a
quote some public provision to be made to send them
where they can procure labor and where subsistence
is more abundant. In other words, get
them out of here. The paper made
this clear when it noted that sending
these African-Americans away would quote “relieve this
community of a large number of consumers who will find
the procurement of labor impossible” On May 1st 1865 the minutes
of the Board of Aldermen of the City of Jefferson
contained this entry, quote, “It was reported to the board on
the strength of good authority that people were congregating
in some parts of the city, especially the colored
race, so that rooms were overcrowded which was
considered very detrimental to the health of the
community, and it was ordered that it must be
the duty of the city Constable to examine and report them.” Over the course of the next few
years a quote “Negro ghetto” began to form in
a two block area adjacent to what is now the
city parking garage in downtown Jefferson City,
across the alleyway from Bones’ Bar and Restaurant. This area became known
historically as Hog Alley, and it continued to
be the dominant place of African-American residents
for multiple decades. Consider this local newspaper
assessment from 1882. “Hog Alley to
Jefferson City is what Clabber Alley is to St. Louis. It is a disgrace to the city. All that is filthy, low, mean,
and vicious of the colored population can at one time and
another be found in this alley. It reeks with filth and
crime and wickedness. In its confines are to be
found the vagabonds, thieves, and prostitutes of the
colored population.” Notice the analogy
between destitution and moral degeneracy,
the assumption that people who live
there are living there because they’re lazy,
because they are degenerate. Similarly, Colombia’s
black population increased from 541
persons in 1860 to 798 in 1870, that decade of the war. This nearly 50% increase
in the city’s population over the course of
the Civil War decade created problems similar to
those in Jefferson City, namely overcrowding, homelessness,
destitution, disease, and even death. In a March 3rd, 1865 article
titled Emancipation and Death, the Columbia Statesman reported
more than 30 African-Americans that had died in the
city in recent days. The black population
of Columbia continued to grow more rapidly
than the white population for the remainder
of the century. Between 1860 and 1900 Columbia’s
black population grew by 350%, from 541 persons to 1,916. During the same period
the white population grew by less than half
that, from 873 to 3,735. By the earliest by
the early 20th century the largest concentration
of blacks in Columbia lived in dilapidated housing,
almost always referred to in the newspapers as shanties,
in the Flat Branch area, with smaller concentrations
on Cemetery Hill and along what was
called Railroad Row. A 1919 housing survey in
Columbia estimated that only 5% of Negro dwellings were
connected to the city’s sewer system. Outhouses draining directly into
Flat Branch Creek were common. Many of the shanties
African-Americans lived in were owned by
whites because blacks had a difficult time affording
or acquiring real estate. In 1938, a white
landlord had this to say about owning property
and renting it to blacks. Quote, “Negro property
is a fine investment because you don’t have
any upkeep expense.” He went on to say,
“All you have to do is pay the taxes,
and the insurance, and the taxes are very
low on the property.” Similarly, housing conditions
for blacks in Jefferson City was equally bad. According to a 1923 survey of
Negro housing in the capital city, quote, “The majority
of Negro residences are either built in
the rear of lots, or in alleys or back streets. Only 50 places have water in
the houses, 16 have baths, and 194 have neither
baths nor water. Most of the streets on
which, quote, “colored” live have no sewers and
outhouses are common.” So what’s happening is that
African-Americans in Missouri become an urban people 40
years before whites do. In Missouri whites
become an urban people during the Depression
in the 1930s. Blacks become an urban people
in Missouri in the 1890s. And as they become
an urban people they press on the
capacity of a city to care for them, to house
them, because white folks don’t want black folks living
in their neighborhoods, and there’s no space. There’s no space. They’re moved to the city– historians refer to this as the
Great Migration, the movement of African-Americans
from south to north and from rural to
urban areas, primarily in the early 20th century. But as I said, it happens
almost two generations before among blacks. There’s a corollary to
this by the way, that in this time period virtually
all of these Booneslick counties have dramatic surpluses
of black women over black man because the black
women can get jobs much more easily as
domestics than black men can. So again, a county like
Boone has by the 1890s hundreds of more black
women than black men, which means matriarchal families. White property owners concerned
about this influx of blacks into their cities, armed
with civic, business, and religious leaders in
cities like St. Louis, and Kansas City, and Jefferson
City, and Columbia, formed organizations
to fight the inroads of African-Americans
into white neighborhoods. A St. Louis resident in
1908 spoke the brutal truth when he said that the 26th Ward
Improvement Association was quote, “organized
for no other purpose than to keep the Negroes out of
the neighborhood.”, end quote. At the same time in St.
Louis, two Catholic priest made statements in support of
their parishioners’ attempts to maintain property values
by keeping their neighborhoods for whites only. Father Peter O’Rourke at
St. Mark’s Catholic church remarked quote, “I
feel that it is not divine intention that the white
and black races should mix.” By 1911 various improvement
associations and st. Louis formed an umbrella group,
the United Welfare Association, to keep blacks out of
their neighborhoods. In 1915 neighborhood
associations in St. Louis asked the city government for
an ordinance housing or banning African-Americans from
living in white neighborhoods under the guise of preventing
quote “ill feeling, conflict, and collision between the
white and colored races”. In other words, it’s not that
we’re opposed to black people, we just want to keep the peace. We don’t want turmoil. The next year, St.
Louis residents voted overwhelmingly in
support of an ordinance in 1916 that prohibited any
person of one race from living in a block where
at least 75% of the residents were of another race. Soon thereafter that
law was abolished when a similar one was declared
unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. So whites then
turned to what were called restrictive covenants,
restrictions placed on property deeds that made
it illegal for properties to be sold to African-Americans. Restrictive covenants
were common in cities all over Missouri,
including Columbia. Consider this 1926 deed
documenting an agreement between John A. Stewart and
the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Club restricting the use of real
estate sold to the fraternity by the Stewart family. Quote, “Said houses so erected
shall be used as a dwelling house for Greek letter
fraternities or sororities which may be established
at Columbia, Missouri, and having members attending
the University of Missouri. Said houses or erected shall
we use for a living drawing purposes only, and no business
of any kind, character, or nature shall be
conducted on the real estate herein above described.” Key line, “Said
premises shall not during the term
of this agreement be held, owned, or
used by any member of the Negro or Jewish race.” End quote. Or this one from a 1930 deed
in Colombia’s Western Heights addition. Property sold by Ollie Smith
and SD Smith, her husband, to C. Hobart. Quote “This deed is made upon
the express consideration and agreement
between the parties that the premises shall never
be deeded, leased, or mortgaged to a person of the Negro
race, and any such deed and lease or mortgage
shall of itself cause the forfeit of all the
right, title, and interest in said promises of the grantor. And such instrument
and title to said premises shall forthwith
and thereupon revert to invest in the
grantor’s heirs.” In other words, sell to a black
person, you lose the property. Or this one from
a September 9th, 1938, warranty deed
from a property in the Ingleside edition
of the East Highlands edition of Columbia. Quote, “Subject forever to
the covenants, agreements, and restrictions hereafter set
shall be construed as covenants running with the
land and shall bind and be forever to the
benefit of the present and all future owners of
the lots hereby conveyed, none of said lots
shall be sold or rented to anyone other than a
member of the White race.” 1938. There are people alive
who remember 1938. In Kansas City the Kansas
City Real Estate Board used restrictive
covenants quote, “as the primary mechanism for
creating segregated living space”. One of the first and most
prominent developer builders to promote the use of
this type of explicitly racial restrictive
covenants was a guy named J.C. Nichols of Plaza fame. A pioneer in residential land
development, home building, and shopping center
construction. In Kansas City beginning
in 1908 and continuing at least through 1949,
the Nichols company built dozens of racially
restricted subdivisions for upper and middle
income whites, and explicitly prohibited
all housing sales to blacks. Nichols advertised
his subdivisions as the quote, “most protected
and highest class region in or near Kansas City”
and his property deeds always warned prospective
prospective buyers that quote, None of the
lots hereby restricted may be conveyed to, used,
owned, nor occupied by Negroes as owners or tenants.” Another major innovation
that Nichols popularized was the requirement
that residents in his residential developments
establish mandatory homeowner’s associations whose
major purpose was to enforce racial restrictions. Threatening letters,
signs, and posters appeared frequently in
Kansas City neighborhoods warning blacks to stay
out of white neighborhoods or face the risk of
violence and even death. In 1926 the Lynwood
Improvement Association launched a
metropolitan-wide drive to form a National Protective
Association to apply restrictive covenants,
racially restrictive covenants, to protect property values
and keep Negroes quote “where they are”. In 1928 posters began
appearing on trees in one city neighborhood warning, “Danger. Colored people are
hereby notified that they will not be allowed
to live in this block. This block is white
and it is going to stay white at any cost.” In St. Louis
restrictive covenants were encouraged by the
St. Louis Real Estate Association, which excluded
blacks from membership. Blacks, according to
the Associations rules, could only be sold
property in certain areas. In order to challenge
this practice, James T. Bush, a black
real estate broker, organized other black
real estate agents into the Real Estate Brokers
Association of St. Louis in 1946. A couple by the name of
Shelley were Bush’s clients. He had arranged for Josephine
Fitzgerald, a white woman, to buy a house at 546
Labadee in order to sell it to the black Shelleys. A couple named Kraemer– no relation I promise,
it’s spelled differently– objected. They sued in St.
Louis Circuit Court to force compliance with
a restrictive, racially restrictive covenant. They alleged that
they would quote “suffer irreparable injury
and irremediable damage to their property if the
black Shelleys were permitted to retain title
to the property.” The Marcus Avenue
Improvement Association that urged the Kraemers
to file the suit and supported their
effort financially throughout the
three year battle. While the lower court refused
to evict the Shelleys, the Missouri Supreme Court
overturned their ruling and called for the
enforcement of the covenant. In other words the Missouri
Supreme Court said, hey nothing wrong with
restrictive covenants. But then the case went to the
United States Supreme Court. And the Shelly’s
attorney, by the way, was a guy named
George Vaughn who was the attorney for James T
Scott when he was lynched just a few blocks from here in 1923. The high court accepted
Vaughn’s argument that the enforcement of
restrictive covenants by the courts was a state
action in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th
Amendment to the Constitution and therefore illegal. May 3rd, 1948, they
struck down the– in the Shelley
versus Kraemer case– struck down the enforcement
of restrictive covenants. Thurgood Marshall, then an NAACP
attorney and future Supreme Court Justice, remarked
that the Shelley case gave thousands of
prospective buyers throughout the United
States new courage and hope in the American
form of government. But despite the
Shelley case, whites continued to find other ways
to exclude African-Americans from their neighborhoods. Challenges to racial
segregation and discrimination in this country began in earnest
in the wake of World War II, when African-Americans
pointed out the inconsistency of asking
blacks to fight and die for democracy abroad while
being unable to enjoy its fruits at home. President Harry S. Truman
ordered the integration of the armed forces in 1948
Supreme Court’s famous Brown versus Board of
Education decision in ’54, Dwight Eisenhower
sending Federal troops in 1957 to integrate
Central High School, these all had a
significant impact. Emboldened by actions such
as these African-Americans and their white
supporters increasingly attacked segregationist
policies throughout the country, including in
Missouri’s capital city and here in the
City of Columbia. During the early 1960s
representatives of CORE, the Congress on
Racial Equality, began to challenge segregation in
places of public accommodation here in Columbia. In 1960, ’61 ’62 CORE
settled in Columbia, and they began sending people
have to fill out questionnaires about the reaction they got
when they tried to integrate restaurants, for example. You can come to the
State Historical Society and see those. They’re really
pretty interesting. There are lots of stories
recorded in these collections, such as the one documented
on December 13th, 1960, when three African-Americans
entered a place called Ernie’s here in Columbia. According to an
affidavit filled out by one of the African-Americans,
quote, “As soon as we entered, Ernie ran did not
walk to meet us. He seemed shocked and shook,
and in a most flustered way told Julia, quote, “We
don’t serve colored here.” Julia thanked him and we left.” It was June 8th, 1964
before the city of Columbia passed a public
accommodation law stipulating that racial
discrimination was illegal and places of public
accommodations in the city. Housing was extremely
segregated in Missouri during the early
1960s, including in Jefferson City and Columbia. As late as 1964, Mizzou had
what was referred to as a quote “inter-cultural living cause”
in student housing contracts the inter-cultural living
clause required the student to indicate his race, and
specified if he wished to gain a quote “wider experience
in intercultural living with a student of another
country or race.” In other words, the default
position in student housing was rooming with
someone of your own race unless you
specifically specified that you were willing
to room with someone of a different race. Early in 1968 the
city council began to grapple with the issue
of fair housing in Columbia. In January 1968
two local residents appeared before the council
in opposition to fair housing. According to the
Columbia Missourian– I’m not going to mention
the names of these people because I don’t know who–
they might be in the room. The first person quote,
“told the council that he represented a committee
of citizens who do not feel that this is
a racial issue, but it is an encroachment
upon property rights of individuals.” Follow that? Classic. In other words, your
right to equal rights is less important than
my property rights, and you can’t tell me who
I can rent to or sell to. Similarly, another
person who appeared as quote “representative
of the Columbia Real Estate Board of Realtors”
commented we condemn a law that forces a man to
sell or rent to someone he does not want to. If we had followed
that principle we’d still have total
segregation in the South. I mean that’s what the
whole Central High School issue was about. On March 19th, 1968, Columbia
residents went to the polls to vote on a fair
housing ordinance. The ordinance was defeated with
54% of the voters opposing it. The major opposition was led by
a group calling itself Columbia Committee for Citizens’ Rights. The next day the Jefferson
City Post Tribune commented that quote,
“Tuesday’s defeat of the Columbia fair
housing ordinance will probably have some
effect upon the issue when it is placed before
Jefferson City officials and residents in the
not too distant future.” Jefferson City had
been struggling with its own allegations of
open housing discrimination. In March of 1966 a group of
Lincoln University professors, for example, had filed
discrimination charges with the mayor’s Human
Rights Commission. Appearing before the commission,
Lincoln University professor Lorenzo Green, my
mentor, commented quote, “The hardest nut to crack as
far as Negroes are concerned is housing.”, end quote. Green and others reported that
a white instructor of history at Lincoln University had gone
to look at a house for sale in a nearby white
neighborhood and was told the purchase price was $13,500. 16 minutes later
a black professor went to the same house
was told the price was $21,000, an obvious
effort to make certain that the black man could not
and would not buy the house. Columbia continued to stumble
along without a fair housing law for two more years. In June 1969 the
city council was made aware of a complaint
of discrimination in housing because of race. The mayor at the time
told the complainant quote, “that the council had
no authority to do anything” and suggested that the
complainant, together with the Human
Rights Commission try to work out a reconciliation
with the property owner, end quote. In other words, solve
the problem yourself. Finally, in February
1970 the city council passed an ordinance
prohibiting discrimination in housing practices. This action was in response
to a petition drive in support of an open housing ordinance. The petition drive, by the way,
was led by Mrs. Lonnie Mary Ratliffe. Interestingly, the mayor
followed this council action– this is very interesting to me– by thanking visitors quote, “for
the way in which they presented their views in this matter. But then he evidenced
his absolute ignorance of the centrality of race to
the issue when he said this. Quote, “We have a lot of
poor white folks in Columbia that I would like to see
people get interested in, too, in seeing that
they have their rights and that they have an
opportunity for some of the things that they
would like to have.” The mayor went on to say he
quote, “Wholeheartedly asks our community to give some
support to these people who are certainly discriminated
against because of their financial
standing in our community.” Obviously the words
white privilege had never kind of surfaced. So here we are. 50 years after Martin
Luther King’s death, 50 years after the passage
of the Fair Housing Act, there’s no question
there’s been some progress. We’ve couldn’t have
contemplated electing an African-American
president 50 years ago, but racial segregation
and discrimination are still problems. I think they’re problems
in the United States, in the state of Missouri,
and the city of Columbia. Old friend of mine,
John Hope Franklin, the greatest African-American
historian of the 20th century, used to say you asked me
about a problem in the 1980s, I’m going to tell you about
that problem in the 1880s, and then I’m going to
go back to the 1780s. The problem today is in
many ways the same problem. It’s always been. In 1901 the great
African-American writer, thinker, historian,
sociologist, W.E.B. Du Bois wrote still a very instructive
book, The Souls Of Black Folk. And in the opening paragraph
of that book he says this, he says that the problem
of the 20th century is the problem of
the color line, race. If Du Bois was here today,
I would suggest to you he would say the same thing. The problem of the 21st
century is the problem of the color line, race. We don’t have a clue. And I go back full circle. We have different histories. Seems to me a starting
point for progress would be to acknowledge
those different histories and to learn from them,
which is why I do what I do and why I’m here. Thank you very much. I think we have a few
minutes for questions I’d rather you say something
than go slash my tires. Anybody? Any questions, or you just
want to get some refreshments? Going once. I want to just say quickly. Booneindicators.org and my
presentation on inequity and poverty is there. And I’ve got maps and slides. I use elementary schools
as a geographic area to demonstrate the
segregation in our community. So it’s booneindicators.org
and it’s under special reports. Thank you. It’s interesting
you mention schools, because in Jefferson
City I discovered that the population, if you ask
people in Jefferson City where blacks always live, they’ll
say over by Lincoln University. That isn’t true. They all live in
the downtown area. But there was a conscious
concerted effort to move them out of the downtown
over to the Lincoln University area. And how did they do that? They built a black
school over there, a segregated black school. Yes, somebody was, yes ma’am. I was in graduate school here
at Mizzou during the OJ trial, and many of the students,
my fellow graduate students were African-American. And all of us watched the
trial with great seriousness, because it was fascinating
and it was kind of a moment. And it was the first
time in my adult life that I had ever seen an issue
split down the color line, as you said. Every single African-American
in the history department said as your friend
did, that he was going to be found not guilty. And those of us white students
were all going, how can you say that? So I think that, I
guess my comment would be, that for people who are
trying to understand how the communities
of people of color and how the white community
views situations differently when we’re talking
about police, law enforcement, our interactions,
that going back and looking at some of the video of
how the trial was perceived and how it played out
in the media, I think could be very
instructive for people. And history matters. It hangs on our back
like a heavy load. If you want to understand
some racial animosity today, understand the sharp
end in Jefferson City. Understand the foot. Understand the
multi-generational anger and resentment that still
exists on the part of people who feel that they
genuinely were cheated out of a way of life. And I think white folks have a
hard time understanding that. Yes, ma’am. That the longer this has
gone on, the more difficult it actually is to change. Randy Cole talked
about how difficult it is to locate affordable
housing in the predominantly white and affluent areas,
because the prices of land. And he’s find it more practical
to locate affordable housing in the city’s center in
certain census tracks. This shows every indication
of going on and on and on, unless we can get a handle on
some of those barriers that are not now called racial. That people would, the
realtors would say, oh, anybody can buy a
house in this, we aren’t allowed to
overtly discriminate. But where do we go from
here, in other words? Well for me, again, it gets
back to the question of a deeper level of understanding,
and white folks understanding why there is this
residual anger and problem. I taught a course called Race
and Gender in Missouri History for 30 years. And invariably
during the course, some white student would
say to me some variation of, why can’t black people
just get over it? I didn’t own slaves, my
father didn’t own slaves, my grandfather
didn’t own slaves, that was a long time ago. They can’t get over it
because it ain’t over. I mean, it’s really that simple. And a century in history
is not that long. The stuff we’re talking
about is in the life memory of people who are
still living, which is one reason I don’t
mention some names. Again, history is messy. And it is a heavy load. It can be liberating, and you
can find strength and wisdom, but you also got to
face the reality. You’ve got to own it. You’ve got to come
to grips with it. And we haven’t done that. I did some work many
years ago on lynching in a northwest Missouri
City that I won’t mention. And the lynching was in 1931. And I was digging
deep into this. It was a lynching that not
a week killing a black man, but drove the black
community out of that city. Even to this day,
very few blacks there. There were two black
churches, a black school, a stable black
community for decades. And so I was talking
to people and getting viewpoints and digging deeply. And this little
lady would always invite me in for tea and coffee
or tea or coffee or cookies. And somewhere in
the conversation she would say to me,
now Gary, don’t you think you ought to
stop digging into this? And this went on and then one
day I got a letter from her. Just, you could tell that
as she sat down and wrote, the longer she wrote,
the angrier she got. And there was one white
man in the community who was really willing to come
clean, and I called him. And I told him, I got this very
disturbing letter from Mary. And let me read it to you. And I could hear the soft,
low chuckle on the other end. I said, what are
you chuckling about? This is serious. He said, I know, I’m sorry. But you’ve got to
understand, Mary’s daddy was the leader of the lynch mob. Which is why she didn’t
want me digging into it. And then I found in the 1950s,
a letter from her brother on Chamber of
Commerce letterhead. He was trying to draw
industry, small industry into this community. And he writes to companies all
over the country in the 1950s. We’re a small community, we
don’t have a lot to offer, but one thing we can
guarantee you, quote, a 100% nigger-free workforce. That is a community
at war with its past. I would suggest,
this is a community, I’m looking for
the exit now, but I think I think this is a
community at war with its past. There is a great
deal of strength to be drawn from
common suffering. But there also is an
obligation to remember suffering inflicted. And to address that. And that is a deep hard thing
to do, but it’s necessary. And until we do it,
I don’t think we’re going to solve these problems. Yeah. I guess I’m compelled
to make a few comments. I’m struck by kind of your
local history of this, but I’m also struck by
the fact that I grew up in the Chicago suburbs. And my family was extremely
racist at that time. We were part of the white
flight to the suburbs. And I can remember the
redlining that was going on. My high school had
no blacks in it. 2000 people, no blacks in it. I came to Missouri
here in 1980 I guess, and I’ve served on the council
for some period of time now. And I’ve gotten involved with
the National League of Cities. I’m the representative this
year for the racial equity and Leadership Council
that was vested recently with the National
League of Cities. We brought some resources
back, one of which you’re probably familiar with. It’s Race, the
Power of Illusion. It’s a movie. It’s the city council is
showing it as we speak. I’m also struck by the
fact, after I graduated from graduate school, I
worked at Lincoln University for a couple of years in
the psychology department before I came back to
the university here. But this issue,
the parallels are amazing between
the local history here in terms of what
happened in Columbia, and I learned a lot from what
you were suggesting here. I didn’t know all of that. But the same kinds of
phenomenon were going on in a different way with a
different kind of racism in other places. And I think we need
to tell that story. I mean, you tell this story
here on a local level, and we need to connect
the dots in terms of what has happened
in our entire culture across the United States. This place, Columbia, is
particularly salient because of the Civil War. I mean, there is a
uniqueness that we have here. It’s a different
kind of civil war that’s being fought
all over this country. And now is the time to
do something about it. I appreciate your comments a
lot, I learned a lot about it. Thank you. Thank you very much, thank you. Anybody else? Good morning. I’m Phil Steinhaus with the
Columbia Housing Authority. I think one thing that
our community can look at is what’s called
inclusionary zoning. Inclusionary zoning
basically requires developments to include
a certain percentage of affordable housing units. And that’s one way where you can
get more diverse communities. And you can help give people
opportunities to not just be segregated into one area. And I think it’s something
that the council really ought to look at,
because I think it’s a way to achieve that
income mixing in neighborhoods that we really need. Because as you pointed
out, it takes what, 210 years for blacks
become economically equal. And that’s the only
other way where you’re going to get good
income mixing in neighborhoods, is that people of all races
have the same amount of equity to purchase homes. I appreciate that. But I also think we’ve got to
solve the unemployment problem. We’ve got to solve
the problem of one out of three black
men being incarcerated or under the control
of justice systems. We can’t just attack
the housing problem. If you don’t have
a job, there’s not much you’re going
to be able to do to be able to afford housing. Yes, sir. So in your estimation,
Dubois also said something that I’ve really
taken to heart over the years. He said that black America needs
justice and is given charity. And I see a lot of
charity in this community and other communities,
but very little justice. And I’d like to get
your take on what are the big institutional
players that took all the land
and the businesses from the black community and the
Sharp End during urban renewal, during the Douglas
Park urban renewal days and the Cemetery Hill urban
renewal days, the Flat Branch urban renewal days– What are those big
institutional players that the city of Columbia,
the county of Boone, the Columbia Public School
District, the housing authority, what are they
doing to make this right? Do you know? No, I don’t. I mean, because I don’t. I’ve been here 20 years now. Came from the west, hadn’t
seen anything like this. I can tell from that laid
back way you walked up. Yeah, I’m still
confused to this day just who is supposed to make
the effort to make things right. To get away from the
rhetoric, to get away from the programs
that feel good, but they really don’t
give us justice. What’s your take on that? I agree with you. Urban renewal is not
just a Colombia issue. This same thing happened in
cities all over the state and all over the country. And it was essentially
well-meaning people who wanted to
beautify their cities and saw these quote,
blighted areas, and wanted to destroy them. But again, I’m not sure
there’s any recognition on the part of
those institutions that they even did
anything wrong. So maybe it’s time for soul
searching for all of us. I couldn’t agree with you more. Those very institutions
have not stepped up to do the kind of things that
I would think need to be done. I’m at a loss of what to
say, except that insanity, the definition of insanity
is continuing the same thing and expect different results. And it seems to me,
that’s what we’re doing, and we’ve been doing
it for 50 years. And we’re getting
the same results. We’re further dividing people. The haves and the have
nots are further split. We are more racially divided. I mean, all you’ve got to do is
read “Trib Talk” or the comment sections of the Post-Dispatch
or the Kansas City Star to see the virulent racism
that is still present. I’m kind of stunned by it still. I had hoped, there
was a time when I thought my children or
my children’s children would be the generations
for which there would be no racial division. That’s not true. Young kids are, there’s a lot
of racism in this country still. So I can’t say anything
except I agree with you. OK, I think we need to,
I’m getting the sign. Thank you all very much. [APPLAUSE] She is a nationally recognized
expert on fair housing laws. She graduated from the
University of Virginia and then attended
Stanford Law School. She’s worked as a trial
attorney for the US Department of Justice Civil Rights
Division in Housing and Civil Enforcement Section. She’s litigated a number of
significant cases involving housing discrimination and
sexual harassment in housing. In 2003, the attorney
general of the United States awarded her a
special commendation for outstanding service. She joined the faculty of the
University of Missouri School of Law in 2005. Her scholarship focuses
on housing discrimination, residential segregation,
zoning and property rights, and sexual harassment. Her work has been published in
many scholarly publications, including the Stanford Law
Review, the Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law
Review, the Florida Law Review, the Wisconsin Law
Review, and the Vanderbilt Law Review. And probably most recently
and most prestigiously, I read a piece by her
in the Huffington Post. On the anniversary of
the Fair Housing Act. So let’s welcome
Professor Rigel Oliveri. [APPLAUSE] Thank you very much
for that introduction, and thank you all
for being here. I like to do this every year. This is a real highlight. I always tell my mom this is
the one month when everyone cares about what I care about. Well, and particularly,
obviously we all care about it. You wouldn’t be
here if you didn’t. But particularly
so, there’s a focus, because this is the 50th
anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. And so I’d like to start,
what I’m going to be doing is talking about the law and
recent developments in the law, both in the state
and federal level. But before I start, I want
to talk about the history, because this is a
historic anniversary. If we were to go back to 1968
on this day on April 6 of 1968, the situation that
we would see would be an atmosphere of
profound racial residential segregation– To an extent that, I mean,
sometimes people call it, it’s been referred to
as American apartheid. I actually checked
the statistics for South African apartheid
against the United States in the ’60s. The United States wasn’t quite
as bad as South Africa was. But it was really bad. We had extremely
segregated neighborhoods. We had legal housing
discrimination. It was perfectly legal for
private individuals, realtors, landlords, builders, what have
you, to be overtly racially discriminatory. A Fair Housing Act had
been proposed in 1966. That was seen as kind of
the third in the trilogy of remedial civil
rights legislation that Lyndon Johnson
and Martin Luther King had kind of a
roadmap of what they thought needed to pass for
our country to move forward. And in 1964, there was
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is
Title VII, which is against discrimination
in employment and in public accommodations. In 1965, the Voting
Rights Act was passed. So in 1966, they proposed
the Fair Housing Act. And it failed. It died in the Senate. And so they proposed it again. Lyndon Johnson had it
proposed again in 1967. And it was meandering
its way through Congress and it wasn’t looking good. It was looking like
it was probably going to die again, this time
in the House of Representatives. At the same time,
Lyndon Johnson had just announced that he was not going
to run for re-election, which meant that kind of the champion
of a lot of these laws, at least in the White
House, had kind of just lost his political capital. And then, if we were on
this day 50 years ago, this would be two days
after Martin Luther King was assassinated. And if we were in
Congress, if we were in Washington
D.C. in the capitol, roughly as far away as
about Hickman High School, there would be a riot
going on there right now. Because that was happening in
Washington D.C. and in cities all around the country. And that’s about
how far away in D.C. the riots were from the capitol. So you had legislators
who had been sitting on and slow walking Fair
Housing legislation for years and refusing to pass it and
bottling it up in committees, suddenly faced with this kind
of convulsive national event. And that was what really
helped it finally get passed. I mean, there had obviously
been a lot of work and advocacy that went into it for
years, but the thing that finally helped
dislodge it from Congress was this terrible tragedy. And so the law itself
was passed and signed– the act was passed
and signed into law by Lyndon Johnson on April 11th. So kind of, there was
a one week turnaround, which is extraordinarily
fast for legislation to come out of Congress. But it really took
that to dislodge it. And so I just want us to– I always think it’s important
to think about that history, because while we have
a Fair Housing Act now, I think people just don’t
think about it very much. But it’s certainly an easy
thing to take for granted. And we really almost didn’t– it was looking like it
wasn’t going to pass again, and then it was
looking like there wasn’t going to be another
president in line to champion it for some time. And so we have it. And then the question
is, 50 years later, how much has it done? What have we
accomplished with it? And I know a lot of scholars
and probably, you know, advocates who work with
these issues every day feel like of all the
civil rights laws, this might have been the one
that’s underperformed the most. This might have been the one
that held out the most promise, but maybe hasn’t led to the
results that we’d hoped. In the 1960s the
thought was, if we make it illegal to discriminate,
then integration will follow– then equality will be the
logical progression of things. And today, 50 years
later, we still have, as you’ve surely been
hearing, fairly high rates of segregation and
extremely high rates of individual acts of
housing discrimination still. The data that I have is
the most comprehensive data that is out there. It’s compiled by the National
Fair Housing Association. So they take cases, complaints
filed to HUD, complaints filed to fair housing agencies. They can’t get purely
privately brought complaints by private lawyers, because that
doesn’t go through the system. But this is most of them. And out of over 28,000
complaints filed in 2016– now, obviously not
all those are going to be ones that
turn into something or that become a lawsuit. But that’s how many
complaints were received. It is estimated that that
is such a small fraction of the universe of actual acts
of discrimination, and people who study– the statisticians who know how
to extrapolate the numbers– estimate that it’s more like
four million individual acts of housing discrimination
occur each year. If you look at rates of
residential segregation, they mentioned they were pretty
bad back in the 50s and 60s and at the time at the Fair
Housing Act was passed. They’ve gotten
better most places, but they’re still
extremely high. And it’s most
certainly in cities and in areas that have a larger
African-American population. While the overall
diversity of the city may look like it
has improved, if you look at the diversity
of neighborhoods, that often is something that– I mean, it looks like
you could just draw lines around neighborhoods
on a census map and the patterns of
segregation remain quite stark. So these are just some things
to think about as we go forward talking about the law itself. I wanted to put it into that
context of where are we going, and how much, if at all,
are things changing. So I’ll talk about
the law itself, and then I’ll talk about some
relatively recent developments in the law. And then I would love
to have questions for the last part of this. So the law– the
Fair Housing Act, as it was signed
and passed in 1968– it protects certain
characteristics. And when I say it
protects a characteristic, it protects any discrimination
based on that characteristic. So it protects race and color. It protects anybody who
is discriminated against based on race. So you could be white,
you could be black, you could be any race– it’s not just meant to protect
a minority racial group. So national origin–
that refers to, sometimes it’s used
synonymously with ethnicity. It’s used to refer to the nation
of your or your ancestor’s origin, because we are, of
course, a nation of immigrants. And it’s usually relatively
recent immigrants that may experience national
origin discrimination, because they are perceived
as– they’re Mexican-American, or they’re something– Somali-American or
something like that. Religion is another
protected characteristic. Sex is a protected
characteristic. Those were the ones that were
in place at the time the Fair Housing Act was signed. In 1988, the Fair
Housing Act was amended to include two
additional protected characteristics– disability– the Fair Housing
Act uses the term “handicap.” Disability would be a
preferred modern term to use. And it also prohibits
discrimination based on familial status,
which is a unique protected characteristic in
civil rights law. Title VII and some of the
others don’t include this. What does familial status mean? It means if you have
children under the age of 18 living in your house– if
you’re a parent or a guardian or custodian of children. Because it turned out that
discrimination against families with children was
a serious problem, and Congress decided to address
it by including this protected characteristic. So that’s what the
Federal statute protects. That’s what Missouri’s
human rights law protects. Those are the categories. Different states can add
categories that they protect, and municipalities can
add categories as well. And so Missouri hasn’t added
any– the state of Missouri hasn’t added
additional categories to this list of protected
characteristics– but the city of Columbia has. So Columbia also
protects marital status; sexual orientation
and gender identity are also protected
characteristics under the city’s municipal code. So what kind of conduct
is addressed by the law? So probably the biggest,
most important one is that the law makes it illegal
to deny housing or make housing unavailable to someone because
of any of those protected characteristics. That can include
anything from refusing to rent to someone to evicting
someone in any other way that you can deny someone
housing in between. It also makes it illegal
to impose different terms and conditions on housing– so
different rent rates requiring a higher credit score from
people of one racial category than another, any
things like that– asking for a bigger
deposit from a person because they use a wheelchair. Anything like that. It is illegal to make or publish
discriminatory ads, statements, or notices. So this was needed back
in 1968, because people would put up signs saying
“whites only” or what have you. And I guess in the
80s, people would have signs that said “no
families with children,” and advertisements
would say that. That kind of doesn’t seem
like it’s an issue anymore, because since it’s been illegal,
newspapers won’t run those ads and people know better
than to post them– except for one
thing that happened, which is the internet. So suddenly, with the advent
of Craigslist and Facebook and whatever else–
roommates.com and findmeanapartment.com– that’s an area that we’ve
seen, they’re actually being– this issue has
come back up again. Because it turns out that a lot
of people who maybe don’t have a legal team to run their ads
by because they’re just home in their apartment putting
up something on the internet may make statements
that are discriminatory, and that would violate
this section of the law. So there’s been a kind of
renewed interest in that with some of the online issues. It is also illegal to
misrepresent the availability of housing to someone. And that is there for
a specific reason, and it’s because, A, that
used to happen a lot. That’s a very easy way that
someone can discriminate and do it in such a manner
that’s hard to detect, because if you go
to rent an apartment and you show up at the
office and you are told, oh, you know what? The apartment– somebody
just signed a lease on it. Sorry. It’s not available anymore. You, the prospective
renter, have no way of knowing if that’s
not a true statement. The best way to figure that
out is by using testers, and people have been doing
this since before the word “tester” was even a thing. People would just get
their white friend, or their friend who didn’t
have kids or something to go attempt to rent
that same apartment. And if that person was
told, yes, it’s available– you can sign a lease
and move in next week– that’s how you’d know
that there was a problem. That’s how you’d know
discrimination was happening. And so testing is still used
in a very robust way today– HUD does testing just
to test the market, to see what’s
happening out there. People have been
able to do testing for mortgage applications. People have tested
all manner of areas in real estate and whatnot,
just to see what the– sometimes it’s not done
for litigation purposes. It’s just done for
research purposes to see what’s
going on out there. But this part of
the law makes it so that it can also be done
for litigation purposes. If someone is engaging in this
kind of misrepresentation, that, in and of itself, can
be a violation of the law. The law makes it
illegal to discriminate in other real estate related
transactions and in lending. And I know you guys just
heard about some lending and redlining, but basically it
covers any other transactions that would affect housing,
like insurance, appraisals, use of real estate
brokerage services, mortgage lending, home equity
loans, things like that. Finally, the law also makes
it illegal to retaliate against somebody
because they are asserting their
fair housing rights, exercising their
fair housing rights, or helping someone
else to do it. So I have two little
notes here that I had to add this year
because Missouri State law used to be congruent here. It used to just cover these
same things that the Federal law did in the same manner. It changed over the summer– Missouri Senate Bill 43 passed
that amended the Missouri Human Rights Act. Most of those
amendments seem geared towards employment
discrimination, which is, in Missouri,
employment and housing are all in the same statute. But some of the changes
that were made also affect housing, too. They didn’t only
affect employment. And so the two
areas where I think that this is important enough
to call out are first of all– it may have been
a drafting error, it may have been an oversight,
it may have been intentional– I’m not sure. But when they rewrote the
definition of retaliation making it illegal to retaliate,
they said it will be illegal for employers, labor unions,
employment contractors– a whole list of
employment-related entities– to retaliate based on the
exercise of civil rights. And they didn’t put in landlords
or real estate providers. They just completely seemed
to leave out housing. So that has left many
of us somewhat confused and waiting to see
what that means and if they’re going to fix it. I don’t have a hotline to
the legislature in Jeff City, so I have no idea where that is. But that’s one thing
that has happened. This doesn’t mean that
there is no protection against retaliation–
discriminatory retaliation. The Federal law still
applies and exists. It just means now
Missouri’s law doesn’t seem to be congruent anymore. The other area where Missouri
seems to have changed its law is that the Federal law makes it
illegal to discriminate because of these protected
characteristics. And that’s usually
been meant to, or interpreted to
mean, that if there’s any amount of illegal
discrimination that’s motivating someone, that
that is enough for a plaintiff to bring a claim. So maybe there’s a
legitimate reason that someone got
evicted, but there’s also an illegitimate reason– it would be enough
for a plaintiff to bring a claim in court. The Missouri seems to
have changed its law to indicate that
you have to prove that the illegal reason was
the reason, and not just one of a multiple reasons. So it kind of changed
the interpretation of the words “because of.” And in the law, we do that. We will write 1,000 pages about
the meaning of three words. So that’s another
area where the state law may have gotten more strict
than what the Federal law would require. I want to talk very briefly
about some disability-specific provisions, because the
state and Federal laws both have additional
requirements under the category of disability that
they don’t have for the other protected
characteristics. And the reason for that is that
it was assumed and understood that it wasn’t enough
to tell people, just don’t discriminate
against people because they have a disability– that there’s actual physical
design and construction features that need to be
changed in order for people with disabilities to
use and enjoy housing on an equal basis. So it’s not enough just
to stop discriminating. You might have to do some
affirmative steps in either making physical
changes to structures, or changes to policies
and procedures. So the law requires landlords to
make reasonable accommodations to their rules, policies,
practices, and procedures if that is necessary to
help a disabled person enjoy their housing in the same way
that a non-disabled person would. And so that would mean
something as simple as, if the landlord has
a parking policy that says parking is
allotted on a first come, first serve basis. If someone says, well,
I’m going to need to have the parking spot
that’s closer to the door so that I can– that will need to be
mine, because that will help me get in,
and it will be hard for me to traverse an
entire parking lot. If the landlord is asked
to make an accommodation to that parking
assignment policy, they should do that if
it’s a reasonable request, and if doing so isn’t going to
create all sorts of problems. So another area where there’s
reasonable accommodations often come up is with animals– service animals– and
tenants requesting to be able to have
animals, even if there is a no pet policy in the complex. Technically speaking, a
service animal isn’t a pet. It’s a working animal. But sometimes when we
say a “no pet policy,” that doesn’t exactly capture
what we’d be talking about. But that, I know, is
a very common area. Every time I talk
to any group that includes landlords, that’s
usually one of the things that people have the
most questions about, is how does that work. And so I can answer some
questions about it later– I don’t want to dive
too deeply into it now, because it’s kind
of a specific thing. The other thing that
the law requires is that landlords permit
people to make modifications to their property,
if that is necessary, to use and enjoy the property. So a common thing
like that would be, I’d like to put
a ramp or something like that that leads to my unit. The landlord can require
that it be taken down when the tenant leaves, but
a physical modification. And then the final area
is that pretty much for any new apartment
building– multi-family building built after 1992, or built for
first occupancy after 1992– there are requirements for
accessibility features, that the place be
designed and constructed with some very
basic features that would allow people with
mobility impairments to use the apartment. So wide enough doorways,
no interior steps, things like that. So those construction
requirements, in theory, should make it so that
at least some subset of newly constructed apartment
buildings should be usable. I know I’ve talked
to many people who say there’s not enough
of those out there, and I’m sure that there is
a shortage in many places of apartments that
meet those standards, because it’s only multifamily– it’s not new homes. It applies to
multi-family apartments where either the ground floor
or any floor that any unit that’s reachable by an elevator. So it doesn’t apply
to everything. But it is a start. A lot easier to design
something properly the first way than to have to
retrofit it afterwards. That is for sure. So I want to talk very
briefly about some theories for these types of cases,
because I’m going to talk about how some recent developments in
those theories in the Supreme Court. And then we’ll be ready for
thinking about what’s next and questions. So there’s two basic
theories that we use in litigating
for housing cases. The vast majority
of them are what we call “disparate
treatment cases,” which is when someone is intentionally
being treated differently because of a protected
characteristic. Now, it may be a hidden
form of discrimination that we only would find
through testing or by learning about it in some other way. It’s not going to
usually be the case that someone’s going to
announce discriminatory intent to someone– “I’m not going to rent
to you because blank.” From an evidentiary
standpoint, this stuff needs to get ferreted
out in different ways. But the theory is that
there’s an intentional act of discrimination occurring. And so people are being treated
differently intentionally– given disparate treatment,
even though they’re similarly situated in all other respects. There’s this other theory
called disparate impact which isn’t used as much,
and is a little trickier. And it has to do
when someone is using a facially neutral policy– so it doesn’t look
discriminatory. And it may not even be
meant to be discriminatory, but it has an impact that
harms one racial group more than others, or perpetuates an
existing segregated pattern. So a good example of
that is the case that– kind of the biggest case
that established this back in the day, back in the 1980s– was a case against the city
of Black Jack, Missouri. Black Jack was a place
that was, at this time, almost entirely white. I want to say it was 97% white,
and it was single family homes. There had been a push to build
some apartments in Black Jack so that it would
be more affordable, with the express idea that maybe
some people who lived in St. Louis would be able
to move to Black Jack and take residence in
this apartment buildings. And Black Jack refused
to allow, refused to grant the development permits
for the building to be built. That was technically a
racially-neutral step, right? They didn’t say
anything about race. They just said, we’re not
going to allow this project to be built. But the
effect that it had was that it basically
prevented a group of people who were interested in moving
to Black Jack, who would have increased the racial diversity
of Black Jack from doing so– and it looked as if
this really was done to help keep Black Jack white. The court allowed the plaintiffs
to at least sue on that theory. It’s not that they
won their case, but the court allowed the
plaintiffs to go ahead and say, we can bring a claim making this
argument– that even though we can’t point to one racist
statement or racist act, we can see the effect that
this decision might have, and we can challenge
it and we can at least force Black Jack to justify
why it’s taking this step. So that’s basically how
disparate impact works. It requires often a
municipality to justify– is there a legitimate reason
for what you’re doing? Because otherwise,
this is problematic. It’s having this effect. OK, so in recent
years, there’s been some action in the Federal law. This is a couple of years old
now, but there was this case– Texas Department of Housing
and Community Development versus Inclusive
Communities Project. The reason why I
felt like I needed to talk about
disparate impact just now is because in
2015, the Supreme Court upheld the use of that theory. And so this was
kind of a big deal. The Supreme Court doesn’t
often take fair housing cases or think about fair housing. So when this case came
up before the court, everybody was on pins
and needles waiting to see what would happen. And they allowed the use of that
theory in fair housing cases. In that case, it had to do with
the allocation of low income housing tax credits
in and around Dallas, and the Department of Housing
and Community Development was only allocating low
income housing credits– tax credits– in already
heavily minority neighborhoods in Dallas, and not
allocating any of them for that white
communities around those. And so what it
was doing was kind of really entrenching
segregated patterns, and so it was challenged. Again, all that
this really meant was that the
plaintiffs were allowed to use this theory to challenge
the allocation of the tax credits. Ultimately, I think
on the merits, it was found to be an
acceptable way to allocate them, because those were areas
that needed more neighborhood redevelopment. So it doesn’t mean
the plaintiff wins; it just means the plaintiff
can bring the case and force the entity
to justify its actions. Around that same time,
HUD also passed a rule– a regulation– which
has the force of law, even though it’s not passed
the same way as a law is, that basically said, from
now on when we’re giving jurisdictions– municipalities cities,
counties, what have you– grant money, particularly
through the community development block grant program,
which where a lot of money gets sent to local governments– we will provide them
with some data tools and require them to show that
when they’re taking this money, they’re going to use it in a
way that helps to affirmatively further fair housing, or at
least doesn’t make segregation worse. And so what this really
does is just requires– and I’m sure people who
work for the city here who’ve had to do these,
it’s probably a pain– but it basically
requires some analysis of existing impediments to
fair housing in the community, and how this money will be used
either to help them or at least not to make them worse. And then finally,
just last year there was another fair housing
case before the court. And this one had to do with– the city of Miami was suing
Bank of America and Wells Fargo for giving pretty much targeted
predatory loans in the minority neighborhoods within
the city of Miami. Each lender, through their
subprime lending arm, really did give a huge amount
of predatory loans targeted in these particular
minority neighborhoods that then caused– you know, when the foreclosure
crisis hit mass foreclosures, kind of neighborhood collapse. And the city was trying
to sue on its own behalf. It was not suing on behalf of
the people who’d had the loans and lost their houses. It was suing on
its behalf claiming that it was injured because it
lost tax revenue, property tax revenue, the properties– the
value went into the toilet, basically, when you have
eight houses on one block go into foreclosure. That’s kind of a tailspin. And also increased
municipal expenditures for things like health
and safety and police and all sorts of
things like that. So the question that was
going before the court is, can the city do that? Can the city, which was not the
one who took out the loans– the city was sort
of a secondary. City suffered harm, but it
was sort of a secondary harm. Are they even allowed to bring
a case like that in court? And the Supreme Court said yes,
they can, but the court also said the city’s going to have
to show that these harms that it claims it experienced really
were caused by these banks and not by other social
factors and forces that also hit when the recession hit. So again, kind of like in the
inclusive communities case, in both of these
cases, plaintiffs won. But it’s not clear that
that means that sort of it’s smooth sailing down the road. They were only winning
on some very threshold issues about whether they
could even bring a claim. Whether they were going to win
the claim is a different story. OK, so final slide, and then
I’m happy to take questions. So now what? What do we see
coming down the pike? What am I thinking
about now when I’m trying to figure out
what is going to happen next? And probably the
two biggest things that I am thinking about now
are, what is HUD going to do? Department of Housing
and Urban Development plays a huge role in all of
this, because not only does it give money– community development money
and affordable housing money– to localities to use to
try to help these issues. It also has an
anti-discrimination mandate. There’s also a whole wing of
HUD that focuses on fair housing and investigating complaints
and doing the litigation work on that end. And I’m just not
sure how much of that they’re going to
be doing right now. They’ve removed some of the
anti-discrimination language from their website’s
mission statement. The Secretary of HUD
has openly questioned whether affirmatively furthering
fair housing is a good idea or is a “failed
socialist experiment–” those were the words he used. And while I think that HUD– there’s still a lot of people
there, and they still exist, so I don’t think
they’re going to stop doing what they’re doing. I just question what’s going to
happen in terms of priorities and resource allocation. And in particular, I don’t
think this will happen, but if any of you has sat
down and read the president’s proposed budget for
2018 or 2019 now, the Community Development
Block Grant program is zeroed out of it completely. I don’t think that that’s
actually going to happen. I don’t think Congress is
going to pass it without that. I think enough people
are going to rise up. But that just sort
of is a warning sign. I mean, the budget proposal
would cut HUD’S funding by anywhere from 13% to
18%, and like I said, take out the Community
Development Block Grant completely. And if that just shows you sort
of where priority goals are, that’s a scary place. So I think about that, and I
don’t know what will happen. So that’s kind of–
that gives me concern. On sort of a more
interesting, positive side, there’s been some
movement in the courts lately to recognize
sexual orientation in places that don’t
already protect it, right? It’s not protected
in the Federal law as a protected category. It’s not protected in
the state of Missouri as a state category. So in some places that
don’t have it in their laws, some courts have still– have lately, literally just
in the last two years– interpreted sort of
sex discrimination to include sexual orientation
discrimination under the theory that if someone is
being discriminated against because they’re
failing to conform to a gender
stereotype, that that is sex– that could
be sex discrimination, even if that failure to conform
to the gender stereotype, is it someone’s a gay, lesbian,
bisexual or transgender person. So some of the lower courts
have started doing that, and that kind of sets up a
really interesting question that ultimately, I think, will
need to go to the Supreme Court to be answered. So that’s another
thing I’m watching out for when I court watch now. So I will wrap it up there
then, and ask for questions if anyone has them. I know I stand
between you and lunch. [LAUGHTER] Yes? It may be a next
steps question because of the list of
protected classes, but it seems like,
especially in Columbia, people have trouble finding
housing because of bad credit, or there’s on case net,
they were evicted previously by another landlord. Assuming that it’s not a
case of disparate treatment, I’m just kind of
curious– conversations about the challenges of
having poor credit because of a lack of income previously,
and fair housing opportunities. Yeah. And that’s a very– that’s a very good question. And really, what
that is is, yeah. It’s sort of a
disparate impact would be the would be the claim
that you would bring about that, which would be– this is a racially,
facially neutral policy, and yet it may impact one group
more heavily than another. And so I know that in a lot
of different states there have been different–
and municipalities– there has been, like, action
to do things, like help– you know, like if a woman is
a victim of domestic violence and has had some form of either
credit or evictions surrounding that, that there can be special
ways of dealing with that. I also know that once
the disparate impact theory was affirmed, that HUD– under the Obama administration–
started encouraging landlords to look differently about
their criminal background check policies, similar to the way
we have a ban the box idea for employment here– that landlords– it’s
still OK for a landlord to have policies that prohibit
people who’ve been convicted of certain crimes, and
recent crimes and things won’t rent to them and to
take that into consideration. But they encouraged landlords to
not have kind of just a blanket “if you’ve ever been
convicted of any crime, you can’t live here” policy. Because that might–
somebody 20 years ago who shoplifted or something
like that, that could– doesn’t really serve the purpose
of tenant safety anymore, and really is just
excluding people. So the thing about the
disparate impact cause of action, or the idea,
is that you can still do things that might have a
disparate impact if you’ve got a legitimate
reason for doing it. And so it encourages
landlords and other people to examine their
policies and just make sure they’re not just kind
of resorting to a one size fits all, we’ll just
never rent to anybody who’s ever had a criminal
conviction, no matter what– no matter if it was
a DUI 15 years ago. Encourage them to be a
little more thoughtful about how their policies
are affecting people and why they have
those policies. So that would be the thing. I mean, obviously
a landlord should take into account
someone’s credit score. But maybe they should do it
in the most thoughtful way possible, and not just have
a kind of one size fits all. Anybody can’t get
in if they’ve ever had an eviction, even
if it was 20 years ago or something like that. Mm hmm? Yeah. I have in my hand here what I
consider a socially activist document, but it’s
actually a screenplay– but it’s socially activist. It’s about trailer
parks, and I don’t know whether you’ve read
and googled on the internet, people have been
evicted from their homes wholesale from
entire trailer parks. They’ve even had their trailers
bulldozed over and not paid for it, and they can’t find–
it’s a sad situation that exists in this country. They can’t find other trailer
parks to put their trailers, so it’s just bowled
over and destroyed. And I think we need to do–
does HUD do something about it, and do they consider this,
do the rules apply to this? And I think we should have– I’ll say this and shut up– I think we should have people
allowed to buy the land their trailers sit on– form a co-operative,
and we should even have land set aside just
for trailer home communities and outside in the county where
they can have that and never have their homes jerked
out from under them. So that’s my statement. And I’ll give you
the screenplay– Yeah. OK. So obviously people who are
on the ground with this issue with the due tenant’s
rights and things like that, I know
deal with this. And it is– it’s a really hard
issue, because mobile homes are not mobile. And when all you
were doing is renting the ground underneath
your mobile home, and they basically still
act like apartments. So you can be evicted
on short notice from what is essentially a
home, and if the place wants to sell the land, then yeah. They can have a kind of a
mess eviction situation. And it’s one of
the things that I like to describe it as
is, when you’re in a city and there are lower
income people who can’t afford a
single family home, they live in an apartment. When you’re out in
a more rural area, there’s not apartments
all over the place. Living in a trailer
home is a much more– that’s the much more
common way that you’re going to find a home. And so the same kind
of problems that happens to renters in
apartment buildings in the city can happen to folks that
are living in trailers more out in a county or
a rural environment. And sometimes there, it’s
not so much about a protected characteristic. It’s just about them
not being poor or not having as much money as
the owner of the park. And there becomes
landlord-tenant– that’s where tenant’s
rights groups and landlord-tenant activists
can come in to play. But I agree. It’s a bad situation. Just to mention
in the same area– I’m a mobile home
person on disability. I was part of a group
some six, eight years ago. We made several trips to St.
Louis, pulling in Kansas City, and got a law. And the only law covering
our mobile home courts is the four month
notice before closing. We need many more
laws protecting those who live in mobile
homes, because everyone has a right to their space– maybe you have
little independence. Maybe you’d put out a garden. Maybe you can sit outdoors
and do your own thing in your space, rather than
being confined to a apartment staring at someone
right next door to you that you don’t have
to necessarily stare right at each other. And it really gives
you independence to be able to live
in a mobile home. But we have no laws to protect
the standards around us. Thank you. Thanks. My name’s John Clarke. I live 403 N 9th St,
Columbia, Missouri. And so I’m going
to phrase this kind of as a question,
because I’m glad that Ted and Dwight brought this up. We’re about to embark on a fair
housing task force project, and of course, I see that as
very much about addressing the issue of having
an affordable housing policy in Colombia, which
is a major first step– I should say, Columbia
and the Columbia area– is a first step in removing
a number of barriers to both affordable housing. Also in our area,
that really has to include thinking
about transportation– but also fair housing. But in this kind of context, you
think that one of the issues– maybe one of the questions that
the task force should address is, how do we think about the
lack of apartment availability that is in the city
in a more rural area, and therefore as
part of a policy, think about both for
the city and the fringe areas of the county where
mobile home parks, and therefore much more regulation
protection et cetera, would apply to that as
part of a policy of saying, we want to encourage
and help support and make available decent,
affordable housing and fair access to that housing. And the mobile home park
is a much bigger issue for a community like ours
overall than it would be. Would you think that would
be a key topic, a question to answer in affordable housing
task force, and what the work they’re going to be doing? To, say, explore
different housing types to kind of enhance access
to affordable housing in different parts of the
county, or different– It would be– right
now, affordable housing, in many cases, is
thought to be, well, it’s going to be a HUD eligible
or entitlement cities, and sort of [INAUDIBLE]. But if you’re going
to say, we want to make such affordable and
fair housing opportunities more available on a broader basis
throughout the community, thinking as the
community as a whole– not as a program, but
somehow or another in the discussion about the
policy about that broader dispersion being noting at
least part of the facts that would back all this up. So what is the
equivalent of apartments as part of providing
decent, affordable, and fair housing in
cities, in an area that’s more urban, rural, or a
combination of those things? Would you think that would be
a real– a key issue for such a task force to address? I think that would be a very
important question to look at. That’s my question. That’s how I wanted
to get it in. And I think other
models, too, for– sort of, as was brought up, things
that are the kinds of– and these involve
so many moving parts because there’s financing,
there’s operations, there’s all kinds– and
there’s funding streams. But there’s been some talk now
of the private sector getting involved in some,
particularly in taking over some of the still
vacant, foreclosed on properties from
2008, 2009, and 2010, and running them
in such a manner so that tenants can do
things like rent to own– not in a predatory way, which
a lot of rent to own plans had been, but in
a real way– you can build up equity
in this house through your rent payment,
and maybe someday purchase it. Sort of encouraging
people to be able to own the land they live on, or
the unit that they live on. And so I think there’s
a lot that can be done, and looking at different housing
types and different housing delivery models. But it involves a lot of money
and a lot of moving parts and a lot of work. So it’s– I wish it was easy,
but there’s a lot involved there. There’s a question
buried in this set up, but I won’t bury it too far. OK. I’ve often wondered what
legal recourse, rather than political recourse,
exists for neighborhoods that experienced an unfair
allocation of resources. Let me give you an
example here in Columbia. The mayor and
director Kramer spoke about our traditionally old,
school segregated neighborhoods north of Broadway. When you go north of Broadway,
you see fewer sidewalks, if any. You see bad storm drainage,
no street lights, fewer fire stations, sewers that
are in bad shape– notoriously bad shape. They don’t sweep the streets. And yet, south of Broadway– just saw the street
sweepers through there six or seven times one morning. Not north. So the question is, that kind
of resource misallocation contributes to segregation. In fact, it’s borne of
it, in a lot of ways. What does HUD, the
Federal government– I guess, I think HUD oversees
the CDBG grants, which are always directed toward
these neighborhoods, and often used to substitute
for local tax dollars rather than supplement them– do these neighborhoods
have any recourse to force our large institutional
players like city hall to get engaged and be fair with
how they allocate resources, especially infrastructure,
which is critical to housing. So I think one really
good point in there is that when people
often ask, what are the harms of segregation? Why is it a problem? I mean, there’s many issues that
are a problem because of it, but one of the
really big ones is that when you’ve got
racially-defined neighborhoods, it is very easy
to have a resource misallocation between them. And that way, if
that happens there is a group of people
whose segregation becomes more entrenched. And so it’s borne
in segregation, kind of creates this situation
and then makes it worse, because that is
often the group that has the quietest
political voice in terms of how much they can make done. People in more expensive,
wealthy neighborhoods can demand more and
get more, and it’s harder for groups in the
neighborhoods with less resources to then turn around
and demand more resources, because they’re in sort of a
politically-weakened position, as it were. I don’t know what the
answer is to that, from a legal standpoint. Because there have been
many Fair Housing Act cases where neighborhoods and
individuals would bring claims against the city,
town, what have you, on that very thing– you know,
the streets are bad here. The street lights don’t work. Garbage isn’t picked up here– name it. And the courts have not been
as willing to entertain those as housing violations,
because they want it to be directly
tied to the terms and conditions of housing. And so they’ll say,
well, you know– we’re sorry that whatever
your municipality located a landfill in your
residential neighborhood or whatever the case may be. But unless it prevents you
from using your housing, it’s not a
housing-related problem. And so there have
been successful cases where something has gotten
bad enough that people have been able to argue, like– we can’t use our
housing anymore. It’s too dangerous. It’s too unsafe or unsanitary. But it has to be that
level of severity for it to be considered a
fair housing violation. There may be other
approaches or tactics that can be used in other
parts of the law, but from the Fair Housing Act
perspective, that’s been tried and it doesn’t often work. Like I said, it has to get
pretty bad in order for a court to find that it’s actually
affecting the housing itself, and not just the conditions
around the housing, which we all know are
part and parcel of it. But the courts take a
stricter view there. Thanks. I think it’s
lunchtime for you all. Well, thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure. Thanks. [APPLAUSE] Thanks. So our next speaker
is Eric Krekel He’s been employed with
the Missouri Commission on Human Rights
for over 30 years. He began his career as an
investigator in the Kansas City office and currently
serves as the Director of Investigative Operations
in the Jefferson City office. He oversees agency
operations statewide, assists in program development,
strategic and budget planning, and acts as liaison to the
Missouri attorney general’s office and the US Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission– oh, and
the US Department of Housing and Urban Development
liaison to all of those. In addition to providing
initial training to the Missouri Commission on Human
Rights investigators, he provides education training
and outreach to other state agencies and to the public– as in right now. Eric received his bachelor’s
degree in sociology from the University of
Missouri at Kansas City, and he earned his master’s
in public administration from University of Missouri
Columbia right here. So welcome to the
stage, Eric Krekel [APPLAUSE] All right. Well good afternoon, everybody. Kind of glad we had
that lunch break, because all of the presentations
this morning are hard acts to follow. Like Zack said this
morning, they were awesome. So anyway, I’ll give it a shot. OK, we’ve got our
disclaimer here. This is not intended to be
a source of legal advice, advertising, or solicitation. If you need legal advice,
seek your counsel. Our lawyers put
that in, of course. So our objectives here this
morning– or this afternoon– are going to be to talk a
little bit about MCHR background and history; talk about the Fair
Housing section of the Missouri Commission– or the
Missouri Human Rights Act; talk about the administrative
complaint process in the act; and then talk about the
changes to the act that happened from Senate
Bill 43, and then have any questions and answers. So this was our state’s first
anti-discrimination law– the ordinance abolishing
slavery in Missouri. It’s too bad Dr. Gary
Cramer’s not here– I would think him, because
the Historical Society sent us the picture of this
historical document. And I was trying to make out
the quirky handwriting there and figure out what
it actually said when I noticed that
this document was signed by my great-great-great
uncle, Arnold Kriegel. And he was the President of
the Constitutional Convention that was rewriting the state’s
constitution at that time. And so he signed this
on January 11th, 1865. That was 11 months
before Congress passed the 13th Amendment
freeing slaves nationally. So this document
here in Missouri freed over 100,000
people in the state. So pretty awesome. The capitol building– the
first capitol building– was struck by lightning
in February of 1911 and burned down. And some of the
documents were saved, and you can see the burn marks
on the edge of this ordinance abolishing slavery. And it almost burnt up,
but it was, in fact, saved. So fast forward 90
years to 1957, and we have– legislation
passed the legislature that created the Missouri
Commission on Human Rights. It did not bestow the commission
any enforcement powers, but it said the commission was
to encourage fair treatment and foster mutual
respect and understanding among all racial
and ethnic groups, and to discourage discrimination
against any of them. Then in 1961, the Fair
Employment Practices Act was passed, which forbid
employment discrimination because of race, creed, color,
religion, and national origin. In 1965, the Fair Public
Accommodations Act was passed, also prohibiting
discrimination on those bases. And in ’72, finally we got
the Missouri Fair Housing Act. Later, sex was added as
a protected category, and then handicap was added
as a protected category. In 1986, all three
of these statutes were recodified
into Chapter 213, and it was called the
Missouri Human Rights Act. It added the protected
category of age in employment, and they deleted the
protected category of creed. Handicap was changed
to disability, and complainants at that time
were given the right to sue. So that had not been in
the statutes before that. So the Commission
on Human Rights is now housed in the
Missouri Department of Labor and industrial relations. Our mission is to prevent
and eliminate discrimination. We try to prevent it
through training, education, and outreach, and we
tried to eliminate it through enforcement of the
Missouri Human Rights Act. So here’s a look at 1958. These are the
first commissioners that were appointed by
the governor, confirmed by the Senate, of the
Commission on Human Rights. We’ve got some notable
people in this group– the woman there is a lady
named Lucille Bluford, and she was a journalist,
a reporter, an editor, and civil rights
advocate for many years. In 1939, she applied to MU to
go to their graduate school in journalism, and
they accepted her. And so she showed up to
enroll, and they said, but– but– you’re black. You can’t go here. So she sued them, and the case
went up to the Supreme Court. And the criteria they
looked at in 1939 was “separate but equal.” They said, well, if black
university in the state there– if Lincoln University has a
graduate school in journalism, she’s going to have to go there. But Lincoln University did
not have a graduate program in journalism, so they said,
MU, you’ve got to take her. Because it’s
separate but unequal. And so what did MU do? They disbanded their graduate
program in journalism. So she went on to become a
reporter for the “Kansas City Call,” and then the editor
of the newspaper, and then the publisher of that newspaper. And it’s still in existence
today in Kansas City, serving up the
wide public there. In 1984, MU gave her the medal
for Distinguished Service in Journalism, and in 1989,
they gave Lucille Bluford an honorary doctorate degree. So it only took her 50 years,
but she got her graduate degree from MU, finally. MU just named a dormitory
after Lucille Bluford, and the state has also
acknowledged her birthday last summer for the first time. The gentleman to
her left in back there has a grandson
who’s probably more famous than he was. This is Rush Limbaugh
Sr. So I guess he was a little different
from his grandson. All right, here’s some
of our commissioners. There’s supposed to
be one commissioner for every
congressional district, and we’ve got three at
large commissioners. We’ve got a new one– Jade Jump. We don’t have her
photograph yet. She’s from southwest Missouri. But we still need a
few more commissioners to get up to our full quota. We do have enough,
thankfully, for a quorum to conduct official business. So the Missouri Human Rights
Act prohibits discrimination in housing,
employment, and places of public accommodations. It prohibits discrimination
because of race, color, religion, national
origin, ancestry, sex. So the state statute
distinguishes between national
origin and ancestry, whereas Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of ’64 has national origin being both
being born in a foreign country and being born here, but
of a particular ethnicity. So the state law distinguishes
between those two. The act also prohibits
discrimination because of age in employment only, and
the protected age group is 40 to 69; disability on
the basis of disability; and it also prohibits
familial status discrimination in housing only. Familial status
discrimination is the status of having minor children. Additionally, the Act
prohibits discrimination on the basis of association with
a member of another protected category. Commonly, that is race
and race association. In housing, we might
have a mixed-race couple who’s interested in
renting an apartment. The white spouse is
looking at the apartment and everything is going fine. The black spouse shows
up to view the apartment, and all of a sudden
there’s problems with their application. So race and race association. You could have
disability association– maybe a parent with a
child with a disability– that type of thing. And retaliation–
so the statute says it is against the law to
retaliate against somebody for filing a
complaint, assisting in the investigation of a
discrimination complaint, testifying at a
hearing about one, or opposing
discriminatory practices. Now, because of the
changes in Senate Bill 43, housing complainants
are no longer protected from retaliation
or asserting their rights not to be discriminated
against, and they’re also not protected in terms of
association discrimination. So I think it was
probably a drafting error, but like Professor
Oliveri said this morning, they were focusing so
much on employment, they forgot about housing. So they were adding a list
of the respondents who were going to be covered by
the association in retaliation protection. They put in the employment
respondents and places of public accommodations,
but completely forgot all the housing respondents. So that’s a pretty big
hole in the statute there. Fiscal year 2017 we received
1,180 employment discrimination complaints, 174
housing complaints– so that was 12%. That’s a lot for us– and 117 public
accommodation complaints. So it was close to
1,500 complaints we took in fiscal year 2017. The complaint allegations–
this is interesting, because almost half
of the complaints we received alleged retaliation. So whether or not there was a
violation found, almost half the complaints we
took, the people believed that they were
being discriminated against because they
asserted their rights not to be discriminated against. So these percentages,
you can see, add up to way more
than 100, and that’s because we get multiple
allegations on each complaint. We might have a complaint
where the woman says, well, I got sexually harassed
in the workplace. I filed an internal
complaint, and then they fired me in retaliation
for complaining about the sexual harassment. So we’d get a sexual
harassment complaint and a retaliation complaint
in the same one there. So that’s why we add
up to more than 100. Disability complaints
were next with almost 38%, sex discrimination almost
37%, race 30%, age 20%, national origin and religion
are usually fairly low. OK, so under the Fair Housing
sections of the Human Rights Act, what transactions are
going to be subject to the Fair Housing laws? Well, they’re going to cover
the entire relationship between a housing provider
and an applicant or a resident from the time of the initial
inquiry through the application and residency to
termination, move out, and sometimes even beyond. We had one situation
where somebody filed a complaint about their
termination of their tenancy. They settle the complaint. Part of the settlement
was not giving– they were giving neutral
housing references, and they ended up
trashing the complainant in giving housing
references, and she couldn’t get an apartment
where she wanted to go. So that became a new
retaliation complaint. So it could be even beyond
the move out situation. So the Fair Housing
sections also cover the relationship between
a lender and an applicant, or those seeking
loans for housing. So that could be a
mortgage for a house, it could be for building a
house or building an apartment complex. So what types of housing are
subject to the Fair Housing laws? The laws use the
word “dwellings,” and that can be including
apartments, houses, mobile homes, nursing homes,
homeless shelters, land to be used for housing. So it pretty much covers all
non-temporary types of housing. But religious
organizations– there’s an exception for
them, in that they can limit the sale, rental,
or occupancy of dwellings that they own or operate for
other than commercial purposes. They can limit that to the
persons of the same religion. So they can discriminate in
terms of the same religion, in terms of the sale, rental or
occupancy of these dwellings, so long as they’re not used
for commercial purposes– something that does
not come up very often. So, who has to comply with
the Fair Housing laws? Anyone who has control
of residential property or real estate financing. So complaints can also be filed
not only against the companies that are listed up
there, but they can also be filed against the
individual owners or employees of those companies
who are involved in the situation of the case. So you can have liability of,
say, the individual property manager or the individual
owner, in addition to the companies that are in
operation in those situations. All right– disability
discrimination. So people have to
show that they’re within the statutory
definition of disability to be protected by the statute. Disability is defined
in a way that there are three different types of
disability that are covered. One is a physical
or mental impairment that substantially
limits one or more of a person’s major
life activities. Those are the kind
we usually deal with. So this is a substantially
limiting impairment that a person has. But people can also
be discriminated against because they
have a record of having such impairment, whether
or not they still have it. And they could also
be discriminated against because
they’re simply regarded as having this condition. You know, we might
have this situation in a housing deal where– and we did have a
complaint like this– where the landlord perceived the
complainant to the a person who was HIV positive, and so
they banned him from swimming in the swimming pool. He was not HIV positive,
but they were treating him– they regarded him. It was a perceived disability. So they discriminated
against him as if he did have that
disability, even though that wouldn’t interfere with his
ability to swim in the pool. So disability
discrimination– individuals that have disabilities are going
to be entitled to equal access and housing. It needs to ensure that
the facilities are going to be physically accessible– that could require making
reasonable accommodations for the complainant. Providers have to provide
that reasonable accommodation in that rules, the practices,
the policies, the services; when it’s necessary, to afford
the person with the disability an equal housing opportunity. Like the ADA, there needs
to be an interactive process between the person
with the disability and the housing provider about
the reasonable accommodation. Where there are
several possibilities for reasonable accommodations,
the housing provider gets to choose which
one is provided. Reasonable modifications would
be architectural modifications to the dwelling
paid for and done by the applicant or
the tenant themselves, like installing grab bars in the
bathroom– that type of thing. And both the state and the
Federal fair housing laws provide design and construction
accessibility requirements. They require that
multi-family dwellings built after March
of 1991 to have features which make them
accessible to people with disabilities. So this provides a minimum
standard of accessibility. So reasonable accommodations–
the person with the disability has to make a request for
reasonable accommodation. Now, they don’t have
to use the magic words “reasonable
accommodation,” but they need to communicate that,
because of my condition, I have this problem and I need
an accommodation for that. So communication
needs to be done, and that’s the
interactive process. You need to analyze
reasonable accommodation cases on a case-by-case basis, because
they can be very fact-specific. You got to take
into consideration the individual circumstances
of both parties. The accommodation
should be granted unless it poses an undue
financial or administrative burden on the housing provider. OK, these would be some
accommodation examples– assigning somebody with a
mobility impairment a ground floor apartment; property
maintenance– that could be like snow removal
or putting out ice melt in the winter for somebody
who has a mobility impairment; assigning parking places
closest to their apartment; allowing assistance animals. Reasonable
modifications– landlords need to permit reasonable
modification of existing premises at the expense of the
person with the disability. If the property, however, is
a recipient of federal funds, then the landlord’s going to
be responsible for the cost of those modifications
because they’re going to also be covered by
the Rehabilitation Act of ’73. So assistance animals are
different from service animals under the ADA– the Americans with
Disabilities Act. Under the ADA, they’re
limited to dogs– service dogs with
specific training. But under the Fair Housing
sections in the Human Rights Act, they’re not
limited to dogs. They’re not required to
have specific training. They can accompany the tenant
in any public or common use area of the apartment complex. They cannot be charged
an additional deposit, additional monthly rent,
or additional insurance. And I can tell you– we
get lots of complaints over those last three
for additional charges. But we have to tell
landlords, housing providers, that an assistance
animal is not a pet. That’s why all these pet
policies do not apply to them. They provide assistance to
a person with a disability. They’re not a pet, so the
pet policies don’t apply. If they tear up the
rug in the apartment, then the tenant’s going to be
responsible for fixing that. But you can’t charge extra
for an assistance animal. HUD used to call assistance
animals “service animals,” but because of the
different treatment they receive under the ADA
and the Fair Housing Act, it was thought to be
less confusing to say, it’s assistance animals under
the Federal Fair Housing Act. So when you’re making a
request for accommodation of having an assistance
animal, there should be some kind of medical
information or documentation confirming that the
person has the disability and explaining the
need for this animal relative to the disability. So this person could be a
psychologist, a therapist, a social worker, a doctor. Could be any person with
authority to deal with that. So they need to say, this
person has a disability. They don’t necessarily
have to say what it is, but they reference that
they do have a disability, and how the animal
would ameliorate the effects of that disability. Now currently, before the
House of Representatives, there’s a House Bill– House Bill 2031– which would
criminalize the– make it against the law– for somebody to misrepresent
that they have a disability that requires having a
service animal or that the animal that they have is, in
fact, a trained service animal. And it was recently amended
to add something covering also assistance animals
in there, too. So it’s been voted
out of committee and perfected with amendments
at the end of March. So along with reasonable
accommodations, housing providers can require
that the tenant maintain control of the dog in the
unit and the common areas, clean up after the dog, and
ensure that the dog doesn’t make excessive noise. And they can also ask
for vaccination records. There is a defense
called the Direct Threat Defense for discriminating
against somebody with a disability. And that’s when that
disability could pose a direct threat
of harm to the health and safety of the
person themselves or to others in the
apartment areas there. And the determination of whether
or not a direct threat exists has to be based on an
individualized assessment and some type of
objective evidence. It can’t be based on simply the
mere possibility that a person might hurt themselves
or others– well, gee, they might get hurt doing that. It’s got to be a little
more set on that. So usually you’re going to
get some medical information. Maybe there’s police reports
about acting out or violent behavior previously. Look at the duration of the
risk, the nature and severity of the harm, the likelihood
that the harm will occur, and the imminence
of potential harm. OK– housing accessibility
requirements. So both the Human Rights Act
and the Federal Fair Housing Act require that these multi-family
dwellings, after March of 1991, be designed and
constructed to allow people with disabilities access. So a lot of times this
means wheelchair access. Although many of
the requirements do focus on the
use of wheelchairs, meeting those requirements
also helps people with other types of
impairments or disabilities like arthritis, sports
injuries, war injuries, people who have mobility problems,
people difficulty gripping or turning doorknobs
who use canes, walkers, or have
limited reach ranges. So the accessibility
requirements require an accessible route
into and out of the apartment building. So that would include
the parking lot into the apartment building,
into and around the apartments. So in other words,
apartments have to be wheelchair
accessible– that means you have to
be able to take a wheelchair into the kitchen,
be able to turn it around and use the kitchen. They have to be able to drive
the wheelchair into a bathroom and turn around and use the
facilities in there, also. All common-use areas
of apartment complexes also have to be accessible. So you’ve got a clubhouse
here that people can use. You’ve got stairs to it– no
way for somebody in a wheelchair to get up the stairs. That’s not going to be
a common-use area that’s accessible. Laundry rooms could
be an issue, also. There is a section in
the Human Rights Act that allows the state’s
attorney general to file suit in court when they
find out the Human Rights Act is being violated. And now, it’s not
been used very often, but prior attorney general
did initiate complaints against a bunch of condominiums
at the Lake of the Ozarks. And the condos were
designed and constructed without regard to the design
and construction requirements that were in effect since 1991. And so it’s not going to
be too hard to figure out whether we’re just using the
ADA requirements– you know, is this door wide enough to
get a wheelchair through? Evidence is in this
tape measure right here, so it was not hard to get
evidence of whether or not they were in compliance,
and they weren’t. And so they had to retrofit
these condominiums, and that was hugely expensive. So the AG’s office didn’t
file against all of the condos down there, but they filed
against enough of them that they got the message that
if they were not in compliance, they’d better get it
retrofitted or they’re going to get sued and
have legal expenses and damages in
addition to having to retrofit those things. So that was a good
outcome on that. Some fair housing
organizations also jumped in and filed some
complaints on some of the folks that weren’t getting
the message, too. All right, the administrative
complaint process, under the statute, is
divided into four parts– intake, investigation,
conciliation, and public hearing. Most of our activity is going to
be at intake and investigation. A case only goes to conciliation
if we find probable cause that there was
discrimination– if we find probable cause that the
statute and been violated. And it only goes
to a public hearing if, one, it does not
settle at the conciliation stage, and two, if our
chairperson decides to set the case for hearing. And she makes that decision
on the basis of input from the attorney general’s
office and from staff. So the majority of
our cases or work is going to be at intake
and investigation. Only a small percentage of
our cases go probable cause. Some of that’s
because complainants can request their
notice of right to sue, and they’re not going
to wait for our process. They want to get their right
to sue letter and file suit in court themselves. So some of our strongest
cases go there. Some of our other
strongest cases settle way before we make a
finding of probable cause. They get an attorney to
respond to our interrogatories, and the attorney says, well,
we’d better settle this right now before it gets worse. So some of our
stronger cases either go right to sue or settle. That’s why we’ve got small
fraction of the probable cause and conciliation situation. So intake begins with
our initial contact with the prospective
complainant; ends with us helping
them fill out a complaint form
for their signature or referring them to
the appropriate form if we don’t have jurisdiction. So jurisdiction is the
status of satisfying the statutory requirements
for filing a charge. In terms of the
Human Rights Act, there are four areas
you have to satisfy. First, it has to be timely. Second is that we have
to have jurisdiction over the respondent. So basically, they
have to be covered– the person or the
entity filed against have to be covered
by the statue. And the subject matter has to be
the subject matter of the Human Rights Act. So it’s got to allege a
complaint of discrimination in housing, employment,
or public accommodations due to any of our
protected categories. If they don’t do
that, then we don’t have jurisdiction over it. “Standing” means the person
who is filed on the complaint has suffered some injury from
an alleged discriminatory act. The statutory
language is, they’re a person claiming
to be aggrieved by a discriminatory act. So I couldn’t file a
complaint for my wife– she would have to
file it herself alleging discrimination. Sometimes
organizations can file. They can have standing to
file if they have been injured by a discriminatory
act and suffered, say, the frustration
of their mission, or have had to divert resources
due to discrimination, or in representing
aggrieved members. So we do get– mainly in housing do we get
organizational complaints. Usually it’s filing on behalf
of an aggrieved member. Time limits– the
statute says you’ve got to file a complaint
within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. HUD can take a
complaint up to one year after the alleged
discrimination. But under state
law, it’s 180 days– so that’s about six months. The Federal Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission, the EEOC, can take a complaint
up to 10 months later– 300 days. But with MCHR, 180 days is it. You file on the 181st day,
we have no jurisdiction. Now, we do encourage the
parties to settle and have an early resolution process,
because if, after a complaint has been filed, the
respondent has the smallest amount of potential liability,
then that would be a great time to resolve it and get
it wrapped up and closed and everybody’s taken care of. So we offer– after the
service of the complaint, if both parties agree– we offer to provide free,
in-person mediation, or an informal
negotiation services to try and resolve
the matter right then. We act as a facilitator
to the negotiations. The facilitator or
the mediator don’t provide legal advice,
or advice whether or not to accept an offer. If they do reach an
agreement, then the parties sign the agreement
and we close the case. It could be enforced in
court if there is an alleged breach to the agreement. If the parties, however, do
not settle the complaint– we can’t force them to settle– then we will get the case
assigned for investigation. In fiscal year ’17, settlements
before the commission amounted to $3.29 million. That’s a pretty
incredible amount, considering our early resolution
staff is 1 to 1 and 1/2 people. But we also supplement that
by using volunteer attorney mediators, and we also
have mediation services that we get from
the MU School of Law Center for the Study of
Dispute Resolution, which is nationally renowned. So we leverage our small staff
with some other assistance, and have had very good luck. We do get a little
more demand than we can get in a timely
manner, but we try to get to all those requests
for mediation or settlement negotiations. But like I said, sometimes
we go through the mediation or negotiations, and the parties
just cannot reach a settlement. We can’t force that,
so if they want to have the case
investigated, we’ll send it on for investigation. That’s the process where we get
data and evidence to determine the validity of the
complaints– you know, was this unlawful
discrimination or not? During this whole process MCHR
acts as a neutral fact finder. We’re not going to
represent either side in this kind of a situation. So after the investigation,
the investigator gets the information, they
write the case up, send it to their supervisor
who reviews it for the proper legal analysis,
and the executive director makes a finding. She finds either
there was probable cause that statute was
violated– that there was unlawful discrimination. The evidence, more
likely than not, indicated the complainant
was discriminated against. So we look at a preponderance
of the evidence standard. And if the majority
of the evidence says they were
discriminated against, then we find probable cause. If the majority of
the evidence says it’s more likely than not
it was not discrimination, then we will find
no probable cause. For the cases that
allege discrimination prior to the effective act– the effective date
of Senate Bill 43– we will issue a notice of
right to sue with no violation findings. Because of the changes
in Senate Bill 43, for cases that
allege discrimination after August 28– the effective date of the bill– then we will just find no
probable cause or no violation and notify them of
their right to appeal our finding in state board. Complainants do have
the right to sue. They can say, hey, I’m
tired of waiting for you guys to get this case done. I want to just get my
notice of right to sue. Again, with if we’re dealing
with pre-August 28 cases, we can issue that right to
sue at any time to them. Or cases after August 28,
due to Senate Bill 43, we can only give them the right
to sue after their case has been on file for 180 days. So they’ve got to
wait for six months after they file a complaint. If the case is
still open, they can send in their request to get
the notice of right to sue. Then we’ll give it
to them, and they can take the case into court. So a fairly large
percentage of our cases have gone right to
sue in the past. We’ll see if that percentage
goes down with Senate Bill 43 kicking in now. So there’s 25% or 30% I think
went right to sue before. OK, so we talked about the
right to sue on request before and after 8/28. If we find probable cause
in a case, then first we have to attempt to
conciliate or settle the case. We’ve gotten more
leverage at that point, because we just found
that, more likely than not, the law had been broken–
that there was a violation. But again, we cannot
force people to settle. If they do not want to
settle, then the chairperson decides whether to set
the case for hearing. And if the chair says,
dismiss the case, then we’ll dismiss it. If chair says, set
it for hearing, we’ll set it for hearing. It’s heard by the state’s
Administrative Hearing Commission. So it’s going to be an
administrative law proceeding. And we’ll have an
assistant attorney general prosecute our case there. We could also, if
they delegate that, have our staff attorney
prosecute the case before the Administrative
Hearing Commission. For housing cases
only, they are allowed to make an election within
20 days of when a case is set for hearing, to elect to
skip the public hearings– skip the Administrative
Hearing Commission– and go straight
into circuit court. And then we will represent
them in circuit court and prosecute the case there. And currently, we’ve got five
or six cases in circuit court– housing cases that
are in circuit court under various stages
of litigation there. When we give somebody the
right to sue on their request, they’ve got 90 days
to file suit in court. 90 days from the date of
the right to sue letter. If they don’t file it, then
they lose their right to sue. The statute also says there’s a
two-year statute of limitations for using that right to sue. So you have to sue
before two years from the date of the
alleged discrimination. So there’s two time frames when
somebody requests the right to sue– they’ve got to file suit
within 90 days of when they get that right to sue letter,
or the date on the right to sue letter, and it has to be
within two years of the alleged discrimination– or it’s “reasonable discovery,”
is the language in the statute. So that provides a small
amount of flexibility. If we do go to a public
hearing, then both parties can introduce evidence, examine,
cross-examine witnesses. We have a court reporter there–
it looks just like a trial, even though it’s before a
hearing examiner instead of the judge. So one of the hearing examiners
from the Administrative Hearing Commission will hear the
case, rule on the evidence and what have you, and then
make a recommended finding of fact, conclusions
of law and order, send it to a panel of
three of our commissioners. And they will make the
final finding in order. They could accept
that or amend it. And once that final finding
and order are issued, then either party could
appeal that into court. If the finding is
no discrimination, then the case is
going to be dismissed. If they find there was
discrimination, then they can order the
appropriate remedy. They can order damages– compensatory damages for
pain, suffering, humiliation, and deprivation of civil rights. They can order actual damages. So on a housing– say, termination
of tenancy case– they could order actual
damages for moving expenses. If they had to pay more
in rent at the next place, they could get damages
for the difference in rent in addition to the
compensatory damages. So either side could then appeal
that up into circuit court or however far it might go. And here’s an example. This is a recent case, least
in terms of the court decision. This was Vermett et
al. versus Missouri Commission on Human Rights. This was a case
that went to hearing before the Administrative
Hearing Commission. They found in favor
of the complainant– it was failure to
rent disability case. And the hearing panel
found discrimination, ordered the respondents
to be the complaints damages in the amount of $5,000,
and a $2000 civil penalty to vindicate the
public interest. So Mr. And Mrs. Henderson were
the complainants in this case, and they wanted to rent an
apartment at the respondent’s Villa Roma apartments. Ms. Henderson used a
wheelchair, and so they needed the
accommodation of getting a small ramp over
a three or four inch threshold to be able to
get into the apartment building where the prospective apartment
that they wanted to rent was. They asked the
respondents to do that. The respondents refused–
it was too much trouble. And the Hendersons
said, well, you know, we’d be happy to put it
in at our own expense. And they still wouldn’t
let them do that. So they filed with us. We investigated–
found probable cause. Tried to settle it, went to a
hearing, found against them, ordered them to pay
the $7000 in damages. And they appealed
in to circuit court. Circuit court looked at the
file, reviewed our record and said MCHR was right. Upheld our order–
our finding in order. And so the respondent appealed
to the Court of Appeals. On February 27, the Court of
Appeals upheld our finding and upheld our order that
they had to pay those damages. And so what did they do? They applied for a rehearing, or
transfer to the Supreme Court. So I think that’s going
to be turned down. But I bet that they’re going
into paying their attorneys a lot more than
what the award was, and I think they’re ultimately
going to have to pay the award, too. So they will get the message,
I think, sooner or later. They’ve been
stretching that out. All right. Here are some changes
to the Human Rights Act. So the bill was passed by
the legislature in 2017– in May 2017. It was signed by the
governor on June 30, 2017, and it went into
effect on August 28. It amended the Human Rights
Act in several significance and business-friendly
ways that’s going to impact the
administrative complaints and how civil suits are going
to be handled under the act. I also think it’s
going to result in a lot more
litigation interpreting the changes to the law, too. So the standard of
proof was essentially increased from what
the courts had said was a “contributing factor.” So you’re going to
win your case if you can show that your race,
your age, your disability, your familial
status– whatever– caused this adverse
action, was a contributing factor in that adverse act, a
contributing factor standard. So it got changed to
“the motivating factor.” So it’s not A, one
of many factors. It is “the” contributing factor. So that’s going to make
it harder to prove there. It’s by defining discrimination
in terms of motivation. It precludes claims
of disparate impact that Professor Oliveri was
talking about earlier, which are proved not
through motivation, but through statistics and how
they impact disproportionately protected category. It also will exclude smaller,
especially seasonal, employers. I’m getting the signal here. Senate Bill 43 also abrogates
some court decisions, like Daugherty versus City
of Maryland Heights, which established the “a
contributing factor” standard. It also caps damages– this was a big deal with HUD. It caps the damages, depending
on the size of the employer, from $50,000 to $500,000. There were no caps on
damages before that. So an employer that
has 6 or 99 employees, the maximum they can be
awarded damages against them is $50,000. An employer that’s got
100 to 199 employers, the maximum liability
they have is $100,000. The maximum liability
for an employer with 200 to 499
employees is $200,000, and the maximum liability for
a company with 500 or more employees is $500,000. So impacts– well,
we’re no longer going to be able to
contract with HUD. They’ve already withdrawn
us from the Fair Housing assistance program, so we can’t
dual file cases with them. We cannot get paid for
investigating cases for them. And so we’re going to
lose all that HUD money. And, you know, that
is certainly going to have an impact
on the agency’s processing of complaints. So we’ve got more strain
on our limited resources because of loss of funds there. Again, there’s probably going
to be a lot more litigation about the changes in there,
and there will probably be more summary
judgment cases when complainants get
the right to sue and going into court themselves. We could look at, also,
some duplication of effort, because somebody
could file with us, but we’re going to advise them–
we cannot protect you from retaliation anymore. So if you want
retaliation protection for filing this complaint,
you should go file with HUD. And we could get
parallel investigations of the same allegations in the
same parties going on there. So there’s contact information
for the commission. We got a complaint
hotline, which is basically just an answering machine. But we check the
messages and call back. Basically, our landline number
there and website and our PO Box here in Jeff City. We’re part of the
Department of Labor, and they offer shared work
instead of an alternative to laying people off so you can
cut people down to part time. They help with proper
classification of employees, because it can be expensive
to say that somebody is an independent contractor
when they’re really an employer if they get caught. They also do on-site
safety inspections, help employers avoid OSHA fines. So any questions? All right, you’re all
asleep or I did a good job. So– [APPLAUSE] Thank you. All right. Thank you, Eric. We’ve got one final
speaker for you, and then I do have to thank
all our sponsors– so don’t pick up and leave
right when she’s done, so I get a chance
to do that, please. OK, so our final speaker
today is Elizabeth Risch. She is the Assistant Director
at the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and
Opportunity Council. In this role, she coordinates
the St. Louis Equal Housing and Community
Reinvestment Alliance, a coalition working
to increase investment in low-income communities
and in communities of color by ensuring that
banks are meeting their obligations under
the Community Reinvestment Act and fair lending laws. She is responsible for
researching bank performance, analyzing data, commenting on
bank exams and applications, negotiating agreements,
and writing reports on fair lending and Community
Reinvestment performance. She also conducts research on
systemic fair housing issues and oversees the EHOC– which is the Equal Housing
and Opportunity Council, if you remember the acronym– their fair housing,
education, and outreach. Elizabeth holds a
bachelor’s degree in sociology from Calvin College
and a master’s in social work from Wash U in St. Louis. She is a board member of the
National Community Reinvestment Coalition. We’re getting a lot of
good sociologists up here. My degree is in sociology, too. So let’s welcome
Elizabeth Risch. [APPLAUSE] Thank you all. We’re a small but mighty group
of people here at the end. So again, my name is Elizabeth. I’m the assistant director
of EHOC– the Equal Housing Opportunity Council. So we’re a fair housing advocacy
organization in St. Louis. We work in the St.
Louis metropolitan area doing a fair housing
investigation, counseling,
enforcement– we file a lot of fair housing cases
in education and outreach. And so today I’m going to talk
a little bit about our work with banks and mortgage
lending, talking about redlining, fair lending,
and the Community Reinvestment Act. So I’ve spent a lot of
time thinking about banks. I’m not a banker, but
I’ve learned a lot, and there’s lots of tools
that advocates and community members and local governments
like the city of Columbia can do to hold banks
accountable for investing in all of our neighborhoods
and providing equal levels of service
to all people who live in our neighborhoods. So what I’m going to
do is talk a little bit about a background– did the speaker this morning
talk about redlining? Hopefully. OK, we’ll maybe touch
on that a little bit– some fair lending laws, and
then a little bit of background about the Community
Reinvestment Act, because I’ve found that
that’s a law that not very many people know about. And it’s a really
powerful tool that we’ve been able to use in St. Louis. And then I’ll talk a
little bit about what we’ve done with our
coalition in St. Louis and how you can replicate
that here in Columbia. So we’ve talked a lot
about the Fair Housing Act today, and what this does– and what I want you
to pay attention to– is that it protects
against discrimination in housing and
housing-related transactions. So if you are going
to a bank, there is lots of housing-related
transactions that you would do at a bank
or at a mortgage lending institution. Think about your mortgages,
appraisals, any sort of homeowner’s
insurance– there’s lots of kind of
financial transactions that happen around your home. And all of that is protected
under the Fair Housing Act. It’s not just rental
or sales, but it’s how we’re accessing credit
to buy homes to build wealth. And then the Equal
Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination
in credit transactions. So that’s things
like, if you’re buying a car through a bank or
another lending institution; if you’re getting your credit
card– kind of any credit transaction where an institution
is giving credit and people are receiving access to that. And the protected
bases are pretty broad. So we’ve talked a lot
about the Fair Housing Act and how it protects race,
color, religion, national origin and gender. So in the way that I
think about things is, I’m thinking about how people
cannot be discriminated against when they’re applying for a
bank loan or they’re applying for a credit transaction. But it also can be
discriminating on the basis of, what’s the racial composition
of the neighborhood? So St. Louis– and I’m more
familiar with St. Louis. I’m new to Columbia here, so
you can just shout out things, like if this isn’t
true in Columbia. But St. Louis is
hyper-segregated. We’ve been like this for
years and years and decades and centuries, and maybe
Columbia is the same. What I heard briefly this
morning was like, yeah, there’s still some
segregation happening. There’s still kind
of racial biases, there’s discrimination–
that happens both overtly, and also covertly
that happens a lot. And so with these
fair lending laws, we trust that banks
are not discriminating against those neighborhoods
and against those people on any of those protected classes. And then the Community
Reinvestment Act– so, how many people have
heard of the CRA? Great! Oh, great. This is great. OK, good. So the CRA was passed in 1977– so just a few years after
the whole Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights Act was passed. And really, this was in response
to some of the redlining that had been happening. So if we think about
redlining just briefly– go back to the map– in a lot of places across the
country, including St. Louis– I tried to find a
map in Columbia, but I couldn’t find any of– the homeowner’s loan
corporation is the one that made these maps– and
they were raiding neighborhoods based on credit
risk scores, or how risky am investment for either
a mortgage or your homeowner’s insurance would be. And typically, we know
the history here– it was associated with race. And so the higher communities
of color had a higher risk, and those were drawn
with kind of a red line. So these planners would kind
of draw out neighborhoods and color with a red
marker or whatever and say, this is most risky. Don’t lend in this area. And so the CRA was kind
of in response to that. That was still happening
back in the ’70s, and so a lot of community
activists and organizers helped get the CRA passed
to say that we need to hold banks accountable for
investing in all communities– that they can’t be excluding
communities based on race or based on different
characteristics. And so what the law
says is that banks have an affirmative
obligation to meet the credit needs of all people, of all
communities in which the banks are operating. So they can’t just be surveying
some groups and not others, or some communities
and not others. And it’s really emphasizing low
and moderate-income communities consistent with
safety and soundness. So one thing I’ll point
out is that CRA is not a discrimination law. So it doesn’t consider race. It’s talking about
income characteristics. So particularly low
and moderate-income are what the CRA is
telling the banks have an affirmative obligation
to provide services to. And that’s where we have been
able to use both of these tools hand in hand. So the fair lending laws,
the anti-discrimination laws work hand-in-hand with what
the CRA is supposed to do and how we’re making
sure that banks are investing in
providing services to low and moderate-income
communities. So in St. Louis, a lot of
the communities are the same. There is a lot of lower-income
communities of color that have been
historically left out of the banking, the
mainstream financial market. Is that true in Columbia? Yes. Some nods– OK. Some blank stares. Maybe you don’t even know
what I’m talking about. So sometimes we see a lot
of this kind of overlap. Sometimes not, because
there are definitely different types of communities. But the way that
we think about this is, how are we making
sure that banks– that financial
institutions– are investing in all
neighborhoods and providing, being responsive, to what
the community needs are? And that depends on each
different kind of community. So the way that the CRA works– so it’s an affirmative
obligation. Banks have to invest
in all communities. And consistent with
safety and soundness– that’s kind of a big
part of this, too. We’re not asking banks
to make risky loans. We’re not asking
them to do things that would tank the bank– that’s we’re really, it’s
safety and soundness. We’re asking for
just investments that help the neighborhoods, that
aren’t kind of outside what is risky for the bank. So the safety and soundness
is kind of a big part of that, too. So the way that it works
is that, so all banks have this obligation. It does not extend to
credit unions or mortgage– independent mortgage companies. It’s all deposit-taking banks. And there are three
different regulators that oversee what the
CRA does and how banks are performing under the CRA. So the Federal Reserve,
the FDIC, and the OCC– the Office of Comptroller
of the Currency. And so every couple of years– about one of three
to five years– these regulators will
examine how a bank is doing. So they look at what
their past performance of how the bank has responded
to the needs of the community. And so what they
look at, they look at a couple of different
things depending on the size of the bank. So some of our small
regional banks, the one located right
across the street here, would have a different type of
exam than what Bank of America or some of the big
banks would be. And the regulator is
considering all of that. But they’re looking at lending– so, how are you lending
to different communities and people? How are you investing, and how
are you providing services? And then the regulator
issues a rating. So here’s your CRA
rating, and that’s based on what the
bank’s performance is under their different
records, the data. They look at what the
performance context of the bank is. Are you operating in
an urban neighborhood, in a rural environment? What’s kind of going on
in the market these days? And then the really important
thing is public comments. And so this is a chance
where the public can say about this
bank, hey, bank– we think you’re doing a great
job at serving our community. And the regulator
will consider that. Or alternatively– what
we find most often– is that people say,
we say, these banks are not addressing our
needs in our community. We do not have access
to mortgage loans. They are not putting branches
in certain neighborhoods. And they’re not responding
to what, really, the credit needs of the community are. And so we tell them
that, and the regulator takes that into consideration. And so what we
kind of hone in on are some of what the
regulators look at and what these banks
are reviewed on. So without getting
too nitty-gritty, briefly, the lending test
looks at mortgage loans, small business loans, and
then sometimes consumer loans if the bank is big enough. And they’re looking
at what loans are going to low and
moderate-income– that’s the LMI. Try not to use
too many acronyms, but LMI is like low
to moderate-income. And so we look at
what loans are going to low and
moderate-income borrowers and low and moderate-income
neighborhoods, which is all publicly available
data, by the way. And we can find that
and be able to see what banks are doing well and
what banks aren’t doing well. Under investments,
in some lending, banks are rated on what they’re
doing for community development lending. So under the CRA
community development, there’s kind of five
different definitions. So how are they providing
affordable housing; how are they providing loans
or investments that addressed economic development, workforce
development– kind of jobs; helping small
businesses; community services to low and
moderate-income individuals– so are you providing
loans or investments to different service agencies? So a lot of our social
service providers get a lot of funding from
banks, and this would kind of hit that community
development test. Or how are banks
revitalizing or investing in low to moderate-income
neighborhoods? And then there’s kind of some
other categories that are more smaller used definitions
under other programs that the regulators determine. But really, those
kind of four parts are what I always tell
community organizations and another
advocates, like, these are how you’re selling
partnerships with banks. So really, a lot of ways
that our organization– and hopefully some of you in
the room do– are, are you’re really helping the community? You’re out there. You’re providing
a lot of services, and the banks need to
be involved in this. So the way that we
sell it is that banks need to be partnering
with organizations, need to be partnering
with the city to do certain programs
that are helping low to moderate-income
borrowers. And so we say, make
sure you’re selling it as a community development,
a CRA-qualified loan or investment or service. And that really gives
us a lot of power to be able to tell the
bank that we have something that you need– you
need this CRA credit. You need to look
like you’re helping to meet the needs
of the community, and we can help you
do that, because we are every day talking to people
about their housing needs, or that we are talking about
and helping small businesses get off the ground. We’re working in low to
moderate-income neighborhoods doing clean up, doing
beautification– all sorts of
different activities that would qualify under
this community development. That’s the way that you can
help banks invest and provide services to you or
your organization or your neighborhood. Because they’re rated–
this is a test for them. And so I always
like to pass tests, and the banks want to
pass their test, too. And so this is
how we help them– how we rank them, and how we
get them to pass their test. So a lot of this data
is publicly available. If anyone’s like a data wonk,
I’m happy to talk later. But I won’t get into the
details of all these– how to access data– because it can get
technical and wonky. But all of this is
publicly available data. So you can find
this information out about what your bank is doing. The ratings– the CRA ratings–
are publicly available. So you can walk into any bank– I love doing this for banks. You can walk into your
bank branch and say, I want to see your
CRA rating, or I want to see your CRA
performance evaluation. And oftentimes, banks
will be like, what? What? What did you say? And they won’t even
know what the CRA is. So then you have to do a
little bit of education to be like, well, this is how
you’re supposed to be providing services to the community. And it’s really important,
because we need our banks to be helping our economies,
to be helping our communities. And so you can ask to
see what their rating is and take a look at how
they were ranked on all of those different tests. But they’ll have
an overall rating of either an “outstanding,”
a “satisfactory,” a “needs to improve,” or a
“substantial noncompliance.” And so obviously, a
“needs to improve” or “substantial noncompliance”
are failing grades. And so the banks always
want to not fail their test, and so they have
an incentive to get an above satisfactory rating. And what the ratings do– kind of where the teeth
of all of this come in– is first, kind of this
public reputation. They want to pass their tests,
they want to get high ratings. But then the ratings
impact to a bank’s ability to merge, to expand,
and to acquire. So if a bank is applying
to buy another bank, they are not able to, or less
likely to be able to do that, if they have a below
satisfactory rating on their CRA. And so that’s kind of
where the big incentive is, that they want to– typically, banks want to grow. They want to expand. And so they want to
get a high CRA rating. So they’re able to do that,
because if they don’t, then they have to go through
all the regulator hoops, and they’re not able to do that. But also, I don’t want to
diminish this public power, this public reputation– power that we have
in saying, banks should not be failing their
CRA ratings, because we’re not going to take that. This is a really
powerful tool, and things that our community
needs, and so we need to hold the banks
accountable to get high CRA ratings. These are public
ratings, they’re public data, and
so using that kind of reputation risk for a bank
is also very motivating for them to do stuff to get
their CRA rating up. And that’s what we’ve been
able to find in St. Louis, is because we’ve started
talking about this and asking questions
about these banks, we’ve kind of raised up
that reputational risk so the bank wants to do more
and wants to invest more in the communities, and work to
help increase access to credit and banking services
and products to communities that have
historically not been able to access those. And so the banks kind
of get this rating, but we know that the regulators
have kind of approved a lot of ratings. So there’s been a lot
of grade inflation. So I look around
my community and I say, what– how have these
banks gotten all these high CRA ratings, because
it doesn’t appear to be that they’re
doing that great to me. And we look at the
data, and it shows that yeah, the
regulators in some ways have been kind of stamping their
outstanding and satisfactory ratings on some of these banks. And so a couple years
ago, this report that found that
nearly 98% of banks had received a
passing satisfactory, or a satisfactory or
outstanding rating. So typically, there’s
not a lot of pressure for them to be doing more
and getting high ratings, because they’re just kind
of a lot of grade inflation that happens. And so the way that we
know that that’s a problem, and that’s why we’ve started
organizing around this CRA activity. So this is a map in St.
Louis and that we recently released with the help of the
National Community Reinvestment Coalition– NCRC. So this shows the purple dots
are a home purchase mortgage loans over the past five years. This is five years of
mortgage lending data. And the green represents
minority population, or communities of color. So if you’re familiar
with St. Louis, you see the little
outline of St. Louis city. And North City, which
is predominantly black, has no dots. Zero mortgage lending,
zero purchase lending that’s happening anywhere. So we know that this is
the problem in St. Louis. And I also pulled
some data on Columbia. So hopefully you can see this– I can make this PowerPoint
available afterwards to dig into this more, but
what I noticed– so this is not race data, but income track. So there’s a couple– the light color is low
income tracks, census tracks. And then kind of second gray
is the moderate income census tracks. And then middle and upper,
the darker kind of brown is the upper income. And the little houses
represent the number of home purchase loans that
have been made available in those communities. And so this is one year
of home purchase lending. And so I see a lot of dots
in the upper income areas, or a lot of houses–
bigger houses, and a small amount
of houses happening in those low and moderate-income
census tracks in Columbia. And what I found when I looked
at the data was about 17% of home purchase
loans were originated to low and moderate income
tracks, and about 83% of loans went to middle and
upper-income tracks, which is a very large number. So I think that’s
something that stuck out to me, that 83% of all
home purchase loans went to the middle
and upper income. Yeah, go ahead. A lot of that’s University. OK. Yeah. And then a bunch of that
is rental properties. Yeah. So all good
performance contacts. Like, that’s
something to consider. Yeah. Having purchases in those areas. Right. Right. At all. Regardless of the income. So not at all– that there’s
no homes for sale at all. Be a low number. Lower number. A lower number. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s something
to consider, too. So then I looked at banks– these are all banks in
Columbia, and based on the race and ethnicity of the borrower. And so in 2016– this
is all mortgage loans, so both mortgage
purchase, refinance, and home improvement loans. And it looked like
about 1.8% of that originated loans went to
African-Americans in Columbia, whereas the population is
about 9% African-American. Please, like, nod your
head if this is yes, or, like, say no– you
are totally off base here, Elizabeth. So that’s also kind
of a red flag to me, that there are some banks– there might be some
fair lending issues, there might be some work
to be done around banks and how they’re serving
African-American communities in Columbia. Also Latino communities–
about 1.5% of loans went to Hispanic borrowers,
and the population is about 3%, according to these numbers. So that’s kind of
a disparity ratio where it looks like
there are a larger number of white borrowers than
compared to the population, and a fewer number of
African-American home buyers or home mortgage borrowers
compared to their population. And a lot of different factors
go into this, obviously. It’s not because of just
racial discrimination. But there’s a lot of context
that happens with this. But when we see numbers
like this in St. Louis, it kind of raises our red flags
to say, what’s going on here? What’s happening to
contribute to the low numbers of originated loans that are
going to people of color. It could be for a number
of different reasons– there’s lots of history
of policies that didn’t let African-Americans
buy homes way, way back when, and that has kind of
a ripple effect on who has access to credit, who has
access to wealth today, who has access to banking systems. But there’s a lot
of other factors that fit into this on
how banks are responding to the needs of the community,
how they are making sure that they’re providing
equal level of services to all communities. And there’s ways to hold
banks accountable to increase the ways that banks are serving
those communities by using fair lending laws and the
Community Reinvestment Act. So I can talk a lot about data,
but I’m going to keep moving. Thank you for pointing
things out to me, because I really
appreciate that. And I think that’s
something to think about as you look at numbers,
as you look at the maps, that it’s important
to know your community and know what’s piquing
your interest– what’s raising your red flags. Are there anything that
you need to or want to dig into more to find
out what’s going on, and how you can change it. So this is a quote
from Gail Cincotta, who’s the mother of the
Community Reinvestment Act. She was an organizer in Chicago. And what she says is that the
“full responsibility for CRA has always been the
job of the people.” That we have this law,
but really the people are the one that
makes this happen and holds it accountable. So “when we wanted
agreements, we had to do research,
demand data, solicit banks and develop products and
do the direct outreach to the borrowers.” And that’s exactly what we
found in St. Louis, is that, looking at those maps– looking
at how banks have gotten away with things– the CRA isn’t
possible, it doesn’t work, without advocates–
without people organizing around it and holding
banks accountable to this law. So in St. Louis we
started a coalition called the St. Louis Equal
Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance. We go by SLEHCRA, and we
work to increase investment in minority communities and
in low and moderate-income communities. And we do this through the
CRA and different fair lending laws. So we have about 25 different
member organizations that span from economic
development agencies to more social service agencies to
community action agencies are involved, to more
advocacy and activist-level organizations, the
Civil Rights Enforcement Agencies of Fair Housing. So lots of different
types of organizations are involved in our coalition. And what we do is
that we are really working on issues of access
to banking and banking services– financial services. So we are really concerned
about mortgage lending based on that map of St.
Louis, that there are huge disparities
in who can buy a home and who has access to
mortgage lending in St. Louis. We’re also concerned
with branch locations– so how are banks located in
our neighborhoods, and are they providing the same
level of access to a bank branch
and bank services. We’re also looking at
unbaked and under-banked. So because there’s not
a whole lot of banks in certain
neighborhoods, there’s a huge proportion of
people in St. Louis that are under-banked
or unbanked, which means they don’t have
a checking account, they don’t have a
savings account. A lot of people still keep
their money under a mattress. And that’s concerning
because there’s lots of different risks
associated with that and how people are
increasing and building wealth and building assets for
themselves and their family. So what we do is
we do our review of publicly available data. We conduct our own
CRA test, and then we write public comment letters– so we’re writing letters
when a bank is up for one of their CRA exams. If they’re applying to
merge with another bank or buy another bank, we’re
writing comment letters. We’re kind of making noise about
what we think is a problem, or what we think could improve. And then we’re
ultimately talking to banks about how they
can improve their service. So we are developing
partnerships, we’re connecting people together
to say, here are some ways that you can help increase
your services, your products, and your investments to these
particular communities– typically low and
moderate-income communities, and then communities of color. And so we have some tools on how
to get data, but a lot of this is publicly available. And we talk to banks– we
ask them lots of questions and sit down at meetings, and
ask them kind of hard questions about who’s on your staff,
what do they look like? What’s your outreach strategy
to low and moderate-income communities? What products do you have? Do you have credit
building products? Do you have a
checking accounts that consider people who may be in
check systems who don’t have $100 to pay for a monthly fee? Kind of asking all these
questions about how they’re serving the community, how
they’re thinking about what they’re doing in the community. Are they involved in financial
education or financial capability classes? Are they funding
any organizations, and what kinds of
organizations are those? Are they helping with thinking
about affordable housing? Are they involved in your
fair housing task force? Are they thinking about
any of these things? Are they involved in it? Are they funding it, and
do they have any kind of products or services? So some of this is
publicly available. Some of this we just learn by
meeting and talking with banks. And then the Community
Reinvestment Coalition, NCRC, can also help with
some free data analysis for their members. And so what we’ve been able to
find in the last eight years since we’ve been doing
this is that we’ve created new partnerships with banks. We have different community
benefit agreements that we’ve been able to negotiate. Some of those have
been voluntary where we sit down
with a bank and say, we have some concerns
with how you’re meeting your obligations under
the Community Reinvestment Act. Let’s partner together to
develop some new strategies, and they say yes, that’s
great, and we come up with an agreement. Other times we have found some
serious fair lending violations where we’ve seen
banks redlining, where they have zero loans
to African-Americans, they have branches that are
all located in mostly white neighborhoods and they have– it appears to be that they’re
avoiding communities of color through their mortgage lending,
through their bank services, and through how they’ve
drawn lines around where their services are provided. And so we filed fair
lending complaints with HUD and with the
Department of Justice in about six different
cases, and those have resulted in conciliation
agreements that set aside certain remedies for how
they’re going to do it, how they’re going to remediate
some of their past wrongs. And that has included
new bank branches. That has included
new products that have been created, new hires,
new funds specific for lending in certain neighborhoods. And a lot of those
banks say that they have made good business off of it. One of our favorite
partner banks is Midwest Bank Center who we
filed a Department of Justice complaint against
in 2009, and they opened two new branches–
one in Pagedale, and one in North City. And they’ve achieved
profitability on those bank branches in three
years, where typically it’s about five years for the
bank to become profitable. And they’ve been
profitable in three years. And so part of what our
conversation around why these things are
important are that there’s money to be made in
these communities that have historically not had
access to traditional banks. That you are missing
a business opportunity by not meeting the needs of the
community, because there are services, there are
products that people will use if you are able
to provide them and know how to provide them that meets
people’s needs where they are. So some of those
benefits that we’ve been able to secure in
St. Louis are $2.5 billion in community development
loans– so some of those are for affordable housing
development for workforce programs. Some of our member
organizations have been able to get new investments
in their financial education capabilities in the
programs that they’re doing that serve low and
moderate-income communities. We’ve got seven new bank
branches and three more that are coming soon, and these
are full service bank branches in under-served communities. A lot of banks say that they’re
moving away from banks– from full time bank services
or full service bank branches. We think it’s really
important that there’s still a physical location, that
there’s someone there that someone can walk
in the door and say hi, how can I help you? So yes, people might
be on their phones. People might be doing
other technology. But in some of our communities,
it’s still really important, and it sends a
really strong message that there’s a physical
location there. It can be a really
small location– one of our favorite
models is one that partners with other
community organizations, and this has been a
really successful model, is that bank branches will
open a little kind of kiosk or have just a room in a
community service organization. There’s one that opened
next to a church. There’s one that we’re trying
to get open within the Y. So we don’t want those
kind of big bank branches that take up a lot of
space and time and money, and the banks don’t
want that, either. We want to think about
how we’re creatively serving the community. And we still think that that’s
physical locations with people that are able to help. We’ve also talked about a
lot of new bank products. And so some of the innovative
ones we’re thinking about are credit building loan
products, second chance checking accounts, and
affordable home mortgage products that have lower
credit score requirements that might have some housing
counseling requirements built in that are thinking
about alternative credit. So people are still
able to buy homes that are qualified borrowers–
we’re not asking for people to make loans that are risky
or for people that can’t afford to buy a home, but
there are people that are very well qualified that
are paying just as much as rent as if they were to buy a
home and pay a mortgage. But we might need to be a
little more creative in how we’re getting people into
safe and quality mortgage loan products. One of the biggest
changes that we’ve seen that have been successful
is people hiring people that are focused on community
development or community reinvestment programs. And so when banks are
hiring staff people that are from the community, that
know the community, that know how to serve
these populations, those have been really
successful in creating new products and
increasing their numbers, and really showing
that they know how to serve the community. We’ve also seen an increase–
and those people are mostly people of color, and increasing
the racial and ethnic diversity, which is important
because it’s important that the communities that
they’re needing to serve represent who’s making
decisions at the bank. And so we always
talk about, how are you thinking about who’s
making those decisions, and who’s serving– who’s actually
working at your bank? So one quick highlight from a
campaign that we did last year is we signed a community benefit
agreement with Enterprise Bank and Trust. It was a total of
$1.8 billion that covered St. Louis and Kansas
City over the next three years. And so this included
a lot of different. They were merging
with another bank, so we had a really good
discussion with them about how are you with
your expanded services? How are you really
going to address the needs of the community? How are you meeting low and
moderate-income community’s needs, and how are you going
to perform under your Community Reinvestment Act obligation? So they committed to opening
two new branches or service locations. They committed goals
for mortgage lending to low and moderate-income
communities, to minority communities. Also committed to
small business lending, because that’s another big part
of the Community Reinvestment Act and how are we
supporting businesses located in low and
moderate-income communities. A lot of community
development lending– so this is lending for
affordable housing or workforce development. They also committed to match
savings accounts or IDAs– or individual
development accounts– financial education,
affirmative marketing– so how are they promoting and
advertising for the bank in all communities– and then some
philanthropic grants that go to community
organizations. So this was a really successful
community benefit agreement, and we are still
meeting with them and holding them accountable
to what they committed to and how this commitment
is kind of coming out of the bank over the
next couple years. So we are a pretty
small group of people. We’re a small but
mighty group in St. Louis of community organizations
that have rallied around this, and have really been able to
see a lot of success in asking questions and being present
and using these policy tools to better serve, to
better effectively serve our communities– the ones that
have historically been left out– because of discrimination,
and because of how race and poverty have enacted
themselves in our communities. And so these are
really powerful tools– the fair lending laws and the
Community Reinvestment Act– that are ways to
overcome those, and ways to help build up all
neighborhoods, all people, so that everyone has access
to products, to services, to investments that help
them and their families and work to achieve some sort of
economic justice in our system today. So thank you, and if
you have any questions, I can take them now
if we have time, or I’m happy to talk later, too. Yeah. [INAUDIBLE] focused
on banks, of course. Have you at all waded
into the thorny issues of predatory lending and
some of the payday loan kinds of issues, or is this
just specifically restricted– Yeah. So the fair lending laws
and the CRA is just– so the CRA in particular is
just applicable to banks– deposit taking institutions. So predatory lenders are under
the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. So they’re not able
to discriminate. And so we haven’t done as
much work on that issue, because it’s not
CRA-related, but it’s very tied into how
this system works, why people go to a
predatory lender– a check casher– as
opposed to their bank in their neighborhood. So we often find that banks
want to work with us to address predatory lending
and check cashers, because they see that
as business that’s going to them as supposed to us. So we talk about how we can– people use those kinds of
services because they need to. There’s not a whole
lot of other options. And so how can we
create better options that are more
affordable for people that meet those needs
that they’re currently going to somewhere else for. Great question. I’m trying to think of
how to form the question, because years ago when
consumer credit counseling used to be present in Columbia,
and before it disbanded here, student loans didn’t
exist like they do now. And I know student
loans primarily have been pushed across
all races, ethnicity, no matter where. And as one who sits and looks
at credit for people wanting to rent, I have looked at
people’s credit totally destroyed by student loans. And having sat on a board of
consumer credit counseling where that didn’t exist before– you’re talking about
CLR, going to get a bank. The banks are trying to
beat the exam that you all are giving them, and
yet maybe some education on what these student loans
are doing to people’s credit– and maybe we should
go a different track. Maybe it isn’t always that
we should go through school, maybe some trades. Because I look at these
tremendous student loan debts, which I
realize at some point are going to be forgiven
because there’s no way. $50,000, $60,000, and they’re
working on cars, plumbing, and actually making good
money, but they just can’t get out from
underneath the eight ball, and will not get a
chance to purchase something because of this. And to me, that’s– it’s not predatory,
but it’s predatory on the part of the government. Yes. So what’s being
done on that regard? Yeah, that’s a great question. Student loans is a big issue
with other kind of consumer advocacy efforts, and
really see student loans as kind of the next
bubble to burst, because it’s gotten
so profitable– it’s gotten so big– and
much like our housing market, the mortgage lending market
was so big and so profitable back in 2007, and then
everything erupted. People are saying
it’s very similar. We’re looking like it’s setting
things up to kind of erupt, and that bubble’s
going to burst. I mean, I think on
the side of banks, that’s something that you
should be asking who’s lending– who’s giving those
student loans? What are their obligations? And are they safe
and sound loans? And sometimes they’re
not, because they’re so unaffordable to
someone who’s not going to be able to pay them off. So I think, yeah– there’s
some other consumer advocates that have been thinking
about how student loans are so prevalent and so
easily accessible that it’s harming people, and
it’s harming our communities as we go forward. They’ll be stacked up on a
minority’s credit report, which might keep them from being able
to purchase a home had they taken a different tract and
be making a good income, and could be– instead of renting– could
be purchasing a home. Yeah. But because they’ve gone– because everyone says,
you should go to college. And so they try to go to
college for a couple of years, and there’s other
monetary reasons that you probably ought not
to be in college, because it’s an expensive endeavor,
even though your college may be paid for. And so you make the
decision– well, I better get out and work. And you’ve got that
debt on top of you so you can’t purchase
a home, and you can’t go to a lender to
purchase the home because you’ve got that debt on top of you. So it may not be
that the lenders aren’t making the loans. It’s that the person
that’s trying to work has that debt laying
on top of them already, and they’re in their
30s and can’t purchase. Yeah. No, that’s a great comment. Just about kind of other
factors about what’s holding people back from
accessing home ownership. So yeah, that’s a great point. Thanks for pointing that out. Ma’am, you might
take information I’m trying to share with
you back to St. Louis and see if you don’t
see some results. Credit union– there’s
something called share secured. Individual of poor status,
low credit score, sits down, and between the two of them,
they make a decision of money they have– the individual has. If they put in one
special account, they take this money
from the account and then put it back repeatedly. This method is used, they
share that with the IRS, and this helps to
grow the credit score. Could be a revolving $500. Maybe it’s $1,000. It’s between the
person and the lender. But I was told
somewhere along the way that banks would rather not
mess with these little loans. Well, what you just said– there’s things happening. How about giving him a chance
or her a chance with this thing I’m referring to, then a
year or two from now they come in and want to
house, they’ve got proof. Right. Yeah. I’m not familiar with
that specific term, but it sounds like a credit
building kind of loan product. And so some of the banks
that we’ve worked with have been able to develop
a new product that’s similar to that, where
they either set aside a certain amount of money,
like in a CD or something. And then someone pays on
that every month– it’s a pretty small monthly fee,
or a small monthly payment, that then over a period of
a year, year and a half, they’re reporting
on that payment every month to the
credit bureaus. And then your credit
score can go up. Especially if you
don’t have any credit, and that’s helping to
build your credit to help enable you to do other purchases
like a car loan or a house loan. [INAUDIBLE] Yep. Yep. So yeah, I think that’s
a great suggestion. And we’ve seen
more credit unions be more receptive to
products like that, and it takes a little bit of
time to get some of the banks to do that. But that’s a great suggestion
for some of the banks that need to be responding to
the needs of the community, and they should be able to
offer that kind of product. And there’s lots of models from
banks around the country that have been able to
do that, and they should be able to get credit– CRA credit for that. So don’t just limit
yourself to credit unions. Go ask the banks
the same questions. Yep? I’m going to exercise
my privilege as emcee to ask a question. Yeah. So I spent the first half
of my life in St. Louis and the second half of
my life here in Columbia, and I can speak to saying that
yes, St. Louis is a very, very segregated and divided city. Columbia, we have some of that. My personal perception
is it’s not as bad. Every city of any size will have
some sort of historical mark of segregation. St. Louis is just so much worse. I guess my question
has to do with Columbia being one city with one school
district and one fire district and everything sort of
unitary within that, and you have to
work in a context where there’s, like, all
these little tiny suburbs that are the result of white flight. The city itself is a
distinct legal entity from the rest of the county. And how do you– what
sort of challenges do you face in working across
those many different sort of municipal and other
forms of boundaries? Yeah. It’s a big challenge. I don’t know how
much time you want to spend on this,
because we could talk a lot about a lot
of the different smaller municipalities
have been– some of them were formed as
a response to segregation and wanting to be an
exclusive community. And we see them still
enacting policies that keep their communities
segregated and have some of the more
discriminatory policies just on its face with some
of these municipalities. So it’s very challenging when
we are identifying issues at municipalities,
and then have to go to 90 other municipalities– yes, I just said 90– different little municipalities
to challenge the same thing. I guess, I mean the
positive side on banks and working on
financial institutions is that they all have either
one of the three regulators. And so it’s a different
sort of institution. Banks are still kind of
a large institution that have a lot of power
over our communities, and the CRA is one
tool that we’ve been able to work
with that is outside of the realm of politics
and local government that have been able to help
address some of those changes. [INAUDIBLE] Yeah, no. That’s great. Great. Well, thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] OK. So that concludes
our Fair Housing and Lending Seminar for 2018. But before you
go, please give me a moment to thank our sponsors. That includes the Missouri
Commission on Human Rights, the Columbia Board
of Realtors, City of Columbia Commission
on Human Rights and the Disability Commission,
Columbia Apartment Association, Central Bank of Boone County,
Inclusive Excellence Boone County, Columbia Housing
Authority, and that was it. There supposed to be an “and”
before for that last one. And of course, I want to thank
all of our speakers for today. Rachel Oliveri, Eric Krekel
Gary Kramer, Elizabeth Risch, and Randy Cole. And then of course, I want
to thank the city staff for putting out a lot of
effort and lifting a lot, doing a lot of heavy lifting
to make this event happen year after year. So thank you all for coming out. I think there’s some
leftover taco stuff– maybe go munch on that. No, no more tacos. No more tacos. No? Sorry. False promise. But hopefully I’ll see you
all here again next year. [APPLAUSE]

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