Philadelphia, PA

NAACP and Cendant settle loan bias case

May 13, 1999
The Philadelphia branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Cendant Mortgage yesterday announced the resolution of a lawsuit over allegations that the lender excluded African-American neighborhoods from its marketing and rejected black applicants twice as often as it turned away whites.
    The settlement commits Cendant and the local NAACP to an "affinity relationship" that is expected to result in at least $15 million in mortgage loans being released over the next three years. Cendant has promised to provide mortgage services to loan candidates assisted by the Next Generation Community Development Corp., an entity set up by the local NAACP. 

Philadelphia group home suing over evictions

May 01, 1999
With apartment rents climbing in the booming Center City housing market, the efficiency-style rooms at the Adelphia House had been a godsend for some clients of Sister Mary Scullion's Project HOME.
    But the Adelphia House, at 13th and     Chestnut Streets, changed hands last fall, and the new owner wants the 37 Project HOME clients -- who have mental illnesses but are capable of living on their own -- out of the building.
    Yesterday, Project HOME filed a lawsuit in federal court contending that the new owner, Philadelphia Management Corp., had violated the federal Fair Housing Act. 

NCAA seeks stay of order

March 11, 1999
The NCAA yesterday asked a federal judge in Philadelphia to issue a stay of his ruling earlier this week that struck down the NCAA's freshman eligibility standards.
    Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter ruled Monday that the NCAA's standards, commonly known as Proposition 48, or in their latest revised form, Proposition 16, violate federal civil rights law because of their "unjustified" impact on African Americans. The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed on behalf of four black students who failed to achieve the minimum standardized-test scores they needed under Proposition 16. 

Judge invalidates freshman eligibility standards

March 09, 1999
A federal judge in Philadelphia yesterday struck down the NCAA's freshman eligibility standards, saying they violate federal civil rights laws because of their "unjustified" impact on black students.
    If upheld, U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter's ruling would mean that the schools at the NCAA's top two competitive levels -- Division I and Division II -- no longer would be subject to rules that had been designed to improve athletes' graduation rates and to prevent the types of academic abuses that embarrassed the NCAA in the early 1980s. Athletes who do not meet the requirements have been prevented from playing or practicing, or receiving athletic scholarships as freshmen. 

Fair housing advocates settle with realtors

February 08, 1999
The Fair Housing Council and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia settled a housing discrimination case against Real Estate firm that will end a dispute in which the plaintiff, who resides in Camden County, NJ, alleges that she was discriminated against in the rental of a house because she had children. The agreement provides for the Real Estate firm to find the plaintiff a comparable place to live, pay for the move, pay the realty fees the plaintiff's Real Estate agent would have received if the transaction was completed and pay the plaintiff $16,000. The Real Estate firm has also agreed to conduct fair housing training for all of its employees. 

Judge rules Montgomery Newspapers did not retaliate

February 04, 1999
A federal judge has ruled that Montgomery Newspapers did not retaliate against the Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia when the company published articles critical of fair-housing laws and spoke against those laws during legislative hearings.
    U.S. District Court Judge Clarence C. Newcomer last week dismissed the case against Montgomery Newspapers on summary judgment, ruling that the Fair Housing Council, which brought the suit, failed to prove its claim. Newcomer earlier had dismissed a number of other issues related to the case.

Anti-bigotry activist to move after threats

October 21, 1998
As a foe of bigotry and a member of the Reading-Berks Human Relations Council, Bonnie Jouhari taught others to look for the signs: swastikas, racial slurs, images of violence.
     But she didn't expect this: Since February, Jouhari says, fliers have been strewn on her lawn branding her a "Race Traitor." She has received anonymous phone calls suggesting she write a will. She says a Ku Klux Klan leader took to sitting on the bench outside her Reading office window, clutching a fistful of hate leaflets, and staring at her while she worked.
     Yesterday, in a move that some experts said was unprecedented, the state Attorney General's Office sued the operators of a Web site that had targeted Jouhari.
     But she'd already made up her mind. She's leaving the state.  

Philly housing authority target of disability suit

August 28, 1998
Advocates for the disabled on August 27 sued the Philadelphia Housing Authority in federal court, alleging there has been far too little done to make PHA units accessible so that those who cannot walk, see or hear can rent them.
     The suit was filed by Adapt of Philadelphia, an activist group. "Many Philadelphia residents with disabilities continue to live in segregated settings, such as nursing facilities, solely because of the lack of affordable, accessible, and integrated housing," the suit asserts.
     A PHA spokesman couldn't be reached for comment. Adapt's attorney, Stephen F. Gold, contends that the PHA is violating the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 

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