Ohio city marketing white areas to black buyers

August 17, 1998
Interest is high in a down-payment aid program geared to attract black home buyers to this predominantly white suburb.
     Other efforts to reach out to blacks have achieved mixed results, but the suburb clearly is building bridges to people whom a federal judge said city leaders once tried to exclude.
     Parma is now nearly 15 months into a 24-month dismissal order that will relieve the suburb of federal court oversight of fair housing efforts. The suburb has been under order to remedy fair housing wrongs since 1980.
     Tired of the court-order stigma, city officials crafted a two-year plan with the U.S. Justice Department in November 1996 to market its housing stock aggressively among blacks. Justice officials approved the marketing plan in June 1997.