Battle Creek, MI

Study: Whites treated better by Battle Creek real estate agents

September 30, 2016
White prospective homeowners received better treatment and service from Battle Creek real estate agents than their black counterparts who were "better-qualified consumers," according to a fair housing investigation conducted last fiscal year.
     The findings, released Thursday at a news conference held at Battle Creek City Hall, reported that among 38 tests, white subjects were offered more listings, received better communication and had fewer discussions on pre-approval requirements. That's despite black test subjects being assigned characteristics that would give them an advantage, such as better financial situations.
     "While we're drawing attention to a problem — and I don't want to shy away from the fact that it's a problem in Battle Creek — I do want to say that we're not just here to talk because there's a problem," said Chris Lussier, the city's community development manager. "We're also here because we have a community that does want to take it on, head on, and address it."

Battle Creek struggles with fair housing options

November 17, 2013
City officials say they are committed to improving the community’s access to fair housing options after a study found socioeconomic inequality in local neighborhoods, employer recommendations to live outside Battle Creek and limited types of housing in certain parts of town.
     The city-funded report, published in July, found those factors and continued cuts to federal funding have created challenges for helping minorities, disabled people and low- to moderate-income residents find suitable housing.
     The $18,000 study included input from public officials, representatives from the real estate industry and the social services sector.
     Chris Lussier, Battle Creek’s community development supervisor, said city officials are working on an action plan.

Fair housing help now available in SW Michigan

April 17, 2003
You see a "For Rent" sign in the window of an apartment and you call the number.
     Your heart sinks when the landlord changes the cost of rent when he sees you.
     You may have been discriminated against.
     But now there is someone who will help residents of Calhoun, Barry and Branch counties who think they are victims of discrimination.
     The Partnership for Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan officially opened its doors Monday in the Neighborhoods Inc. building -- at 47 N. Washington Ave. -- and is gearing up to educate people on fair housing law.

Fair housing office to open in Battle Creek

January 29, 2003
A satellite office of The Partnership for Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan will open in Battle Creek in April, the nonprofit agency's officials announced Tuesday.
     The organization, which was started in Kalamazoo in 1998, provides education services, enforcement and "testing" of state and federal fair housing laws, which prohibit discrimination. The satellite office will be housed in the Neighborhoods Inc. building on Washington Avenue.
     "We cannot do the work that we need to do without the help of the community," said Pat Winston, executive director of the organization's alliance with Neighborhoods Inc. "Their goal and our goal is to break down the barriers for fair housing in the area." 

Bush moves to middle with affordable housing push

April 18, 2000
George W. Bush was talking affordable housing today while focusing on a key battleground state where he suffered an earlier campaign loss. 
     "I'm here to start laying the groundwork for next fall," the likely Republican presidential nominee said Monday night. "Is it too early to start in Michigan? Not at all." 
     To underscore his commitment to affordable housing, Bush was visiting a private home in Battle Creek that was renovated through a nonprofit neighborhood redevelopment program. He also planned a forum at a senior citizens center in Dearborn to tout housing initiatives for the elderly. 
     The events, followed by a fund-raiser in Troy, are part of what Bush says will be a sustained effort in a big industrial state that could help determine the outcome in November. 
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