Houston, TX

Investigating claims of discrimination

September 05, 2007
Deep in the heart of southwest Houston, at the Cherry Gardens Apartments, a battle has broken out between the complex and some of its tenants.
     Claims of discrimination
     Some residents were so afraid that they didn’t want to be identified.
     One woman told 11 News that the complex is trying to kick her out of the place she’s called home for years.

Jackson targets discrimination against hurricane evacuees

January 20, 2006
U.S. Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson wants to protect hurricane evacuees from being victimized more as they look for a place to live. Jackson was in Houston yesterday announced an advertising campaign designed to inform evacuees of fair housing laws.
     

Fair housing advocates visit East Texas

September 01, 2004
Moving into a new home is an important step for anyone, but what if you couldn't live where you wanted to...either because you have a disability or because of the color of your skin?
     Housing advocates were in East Texas Wednesday. They held presentations on the right to fair and equal housing. The seminars addressed subtle discrimination, and the right to obtain housing of your choice regardless of religion, race or disability.
     Daniel Bustamante of the Greater Houston Fair Housing Center says, "The disabled community, many times, is not fully aware of their rights to get the housing of their choice so they can live comfortably. The law protects very specific groups, so we're trying to make sure that people at least have some basic knowledge and a phone number to call."

Deputies sue for being forced in lineup

June 30, 2004
Seven black deputies and a former deputy claim in a federal lawsuit they were wrongly forced to pose for a lineup after a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by a black man in a sheriff's uniform.
     The seven men said the incident in June 1999 was meant to humiliate them in front of jail inmates and other officers because they are black. A letter with the lawsuit said the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded in 2001 that the incident violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
     Harris County sheriff's department officials ordered the lineup almost a month after the woman claimed she was assaulted while visiting an inmate at the jail, the lawsuit says.

Sheila Jackson Lee wants housing program restarted in Houston

March 29, 2004
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee escorts Annie Bell Chase through Chase's fire ravaged home. The Emergency Home Repair Program was suspended last year after an audit by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
     But the elderly and disabled Houstonians might soon be getting some help from the city for housing. The process is underway to try and get the HUD program restarted in Houston, and help those who need the assistance.
     Annie Bell Chase walks through the burned out rooms that used to be part of her home.

HUD orders Houston to halt home-repair program

November 13, 2003
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ordered Houston to immediately suspend one of its major housing-assistance programs for what it says are widespread problems, including poor-quality work and overpayment to contractors.
     The blunt enforcement letter, issued last week, follows a detailed audit of the city's $5 million Emergency Home Repair Program, which fixes unsafe houses owned by elderly or disabled city residents. The program is entirely funded by federal grants.
     "Due to the very serious nature of this finding, the fact that it is a repeat finding, and the city's continued failure to resolve timely and satisfactorily the complaints made by homeowners about the repair work done on their homes ... the city is to discontinue immediately its ... housing repair program," wrote Katie S. Worsham, director of HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development in Fort Worth.

Black insurance agents claim discrimination

October 17, 2002
The Equal Opportunity Commission is calling on American National Insurance to resolve the practice of sending black sales agents to black neighborhoods and white colleagues to white neighborhoods, or face a possible lawsuit.
     An EEOC investigation -- instigated by complaints from 10 black agents -- determined that the practice is discriminatory and results in black agents being unfairly turned down for promotion.
     American National denies any wrongdoing, said Ramon D. Bissmeyer, the San Antonio lawyer representing American National. He wouldn't elaborate, saying he only received the letter from the EEOC on Tuesday and had not had time to examine the allegations. 

NAACP Head: Preserve Civil Liberties

July 08, 2002
NAACP President Kweisi Mfume said Monday that Americans must work to preserve their civil rights in the post-Sept. 11 world because fear of terrorism can lead to individual liberties being trampled.
      "Now is the time for us to be eternally vigilant in protecting the republic, but also in protecting the democratic principles on which it stands." Mfume said in his keynote address at the 93rd annual NAACP convention.
      Mfume warned that "for blacks and browns, in particular" both war and recession have correlated with periods of "diminished civil rights" in the nation's history.

NAACP criticizes Bush on rights

July 07, 2002
NAACP board chairman Julian Bond criticized the Bush administration Sunday, saying it had failed to enforce civil rights laws, and he denounced the FBI's use of increased surveillance powers in fighting terrorism.
      Two years ago, President Bush "promised to enforce the civil rights laws," Bond said. "We knew he was in the oil business – we just didn't know it was snake oil."
      Bush addressed the convention as a presidential candidate in 2000, but has declined a written invitation from NAACP President Kweisi Mfume for the past two years.

Race in Houston raises Hispanic hopes

November 30, 2001
After mayoral bids by Latino candidates in New York and Los Angeles this year drew Hispanic voters to the polls in record numbers, the increasing political involvement of the nation's fastest-growing ethnic group is on display again in a big-city election, this time in Houston.
     And this time with a last-minute push from the president of the United States.
     Here in America's fourth-largest city, where Hispanics in the 1990s eclipsed whites as the biggest segment of the population, no Anglo candidate has made the final cut in this year's race for mayor. On Saturday, voters will choose either incumbent Democrat Lee Brown, who is the only black mayor in Houston's history, or Republican Orlando Sanchez, a City Council member whose candidacy has energized the city's burgeoning Latino electorate. 

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