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Housing Opportunities Made Equal Records

 Collection
Identifier: US-04-01

Scope and Content

Records of Housing Opportunities Made Equal, circa 1990-2002, including case files, correspondence, and various office files.

Dates

  • 1968-2003

Creator

History of Housing Opportunities Made Equal

Housing Opportunities Made Equal was first organized in 1959 when a few members of Cincinnati's Mayor's Friendly Relations Commission began meeting to explore ways to confront housing discrimination. Calling themselves the Greater Cincinnati Committee for Equal Opportunity in Housing, the early activities of this organization involved assisting black families interesting in purchasing housing in segregated neighborhood.

In 1964, the organization changed their name to Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Greater Cincinnati (HOME) and two years later hired their first full-time director Martha Smudski. Also in 1966, the Ohio legislature passed a limited fair housing bill, which Smudski worked to have enforced without success.

In 1968, the new Executive Director, Marjorie Jordan, updated HOME's programs to take advantage of the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 . More progress was made in 1969, when the Ohio Legislature passed a stricter fair housing law and HOME was able to help black families move into previously restricted areas like Mt. Adams, Westwood, Price Hill, St. Bernard, Forest Park and Clifton. In 1973, HOME won another victory with Brown v. Federle, when the U.S. District Court found that the 18 Greater Cincinnati real estate agents were steering whites away from integrated areas and pushing blacks towards them.

In 1976, Karla Irvine became director of HOME. Through the late 1970s, HOME continued to expand their programs including hiring a staff person to examine government programs for their impact on fair housing and contracting with the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission to provide a fair housing program. HOME also hired an educational outreach staff person, increased its advertising, and produced a slide show for community organizations.

The 1980s saw more success stemming from lawsuits. The settlement of Hutchins v. Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority helped to expand Section 8 housing in areas of Hamilton County with a low concentration of poverty and low minority populations. In 1985, HOME filed suit against Sibcy Cline Realtors for racial steering practices. The settlement resulted in better training of Sibcy Cline realtors in fair housing. Another suit against the Bulter County Metropolitan Housing Authority helped 150 blacks move to a previously segregated area of Hamilton.

In the 1990s, HOME confronted insurance redlining resulting in a suit against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. HOME accused the insurance company of making policies unavailable to homeowners in predominately African American communities. HOME also worked with local and national law enforcement to reduce racial harassment during the 1990s. In 2000, funding from federal, state, and local grants allowed HOME to reach out to Cincinnati's growing Hispanic community and produce Spanish educational materials and hire bilingual staff. In 2004, Elizabeth Brown replaced Karla Irvine as Executive Director, and in the mid-2000s, HOME took on predatory lending practices and began to focus on discrimination against people with disabilities as part of a 5-year grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council.

In 1964, the organization changed their name to Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Greater Cincinnati (HOME) and two years later hired their first full-time director Martha Smudski. Also in 1966, the Ohio legislature passed a limited fair housing bill, which Smudski worked to have enforced without success.

In 1968, the new Executive Director, Marjorie Jordan, updated HOME's programs to take advantage of the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 . More progress was made in 1969, when the Ohio Legislature passed a stricter fair housing law and HOME was able to help black families move into previously restricted areas like Mt. Adams, Westwood, Price Hill, St. Bernard, Forest Park and Clifton. In 1973, HOME won another victory with Brown v. Federle, when the U.S. District Court found that the 18 Greater Cincinnati real estate agents were steering whites away from integrated areas and pushing blacks towards them.

In 1976, Karla Irvine became director of HOME. Through the late 1970s, HOME continued to expand their programs including hiring a staff person to examine government programs for their impact on fair housing and contracting with the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission to provide a fair housing program. HOME also hired an educational outreach staff person, increased its advertising, and produced a slide show for community organizations.

The 1980s saw more success stemming from lawsuits. The settlement of Hutchins v. Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority helped to expand Section 8 housing in areas of Hamilton County with a low concentration of poverty and low minority populations. In 1985, HOME filed suit against Sibcy Cline Realtors for racial steering practices. The settlement resulted in better training of Sibcy Cline realtors in fair housing. Another suit against the Bulter County Metropolitan Housing Authority helped 150 blacks move to a previously segregated area of Hamilton.

In the 1990s, HOME confronted insurance redlining resulting in a suit against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. HOME accused the insurance company of making policies unavailable to homeowners in predominately African American communities. HOME also worked with local and national law enforcement to reduce racial harassment during the 1990s. In 2000, funding from federal, state, and local grants allowed HOME to reach out to Cincinnati's growing Hispanic community and produce Spanish educational materials and hire bilingual staff. In 2004, Elizabeth Brown replaced Karla Irvine as Executive Director, and in the mid-2000s, HOME took on predatory lending practices and began to focus on discrimination against people with disabilities as part of a 5-year grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council.

Extent

126.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Records of Housing Opportunities Made Equal including case files, correspondence, and various office files.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged into folders by topic.

Physical Location

Archives and Rare Books Library

Title
Inventory of the Housing Opportunities Made Equal Records, ca. 1960-1980
Status
In Progress
Author
Finding aid prepared by Archives and Rare Books Staff
Date
2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Rare Books Library Repository

Contact:
8th Floor Blegen Library
2602 University Circle
P.O. Box 210113
Cincinnati Ohio 45221-0113
513-556-1959