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From the President's Desk
Brain-Boggler for December
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Wanted
Guidelines for Fair Housing Standards

Please detach the following and put in your Human Resources Kit.

As a result of Unit discussions on Fair Housing Standards the following memo was sent to National by Chairman Evelyn Oishi and her committee.

Guidelines for Fair Housing Standards

Compiled from Unit Discussion Reports

I. The following criteria should be applied to programs and policies to provide equal opportunity in access to housing

  1. The housing market should operate free of restrictions based on race, color, religion, national origin... YES

    The ideal solution would be for every citizen to cease and desist the practice of racial discrimination in access to housing throughout the U.S. immediately.

  2. Government at all levels and the private sector as well have a role to play in the nationwide effort to achieve equality of opportunity in access to housing.

    For participation by various segments of society broadens the base of support, not only in terms of financial resources but also in terms of positive citizen involvement in promoting a socially and morally desirable condition.

    Government must provide a tax incentive program to stimulate the participation of private enterprise in alleviating the housing shortage. That racial conflict cannot be resolved as long as blacks and whites must compete for the same insufficient supply. NEW and CREATIVE means of financing housing programs must be developed through the cooperative efforts of government officials, businessmen, union and church leaders and other concerned leaders.

  3. Federal programs should include provisions to guarantee equal rights in access to housing and funds should be withheld from all housing programs (i.e. housing agencies, banks, savings and loans) where discrimination occurs.

    However, there is concern as to whether or not the withholdingā€˛- of funds across the board would create undue hardship on the total community, for example, in regional type projects.

  4. In the enforcement of fair housing laws:

    1. Administrative procedures and responsibilities should be clearly defined.

    2. Mediation and legal redress should be readily available, that tax supported legal Aid procedures should be established to pursue complaints

    3. Funding should be adequate to insure prompt enforcement, that "limited funds" could be used as an alibi to discourage enforcement of the law.

    4. Continued CREATIVE evaluation should be encouraged and procedures revised when indicated by a separate group other than the agency implementing the enforcement of fair housing laws.

The following are not guidelines for fair housing but the questions were discussed and are herewith presented for your information.

II. Do you see any problems in the implementation of fair housing laws?

  1. Those who are most likely to be discriminated against would be the least aware of their legal rights and as such a continuing educational program on fair housing laws should be conducted in a manner that would be easily understood by those affected.

  2. The implementation of fair housing laws should not only involve enforcement and adequate financing, but must also include a wide range of educational programs to bring about a positive change in attitude And-behavior and the desire to implement the spirit and intent of the law, Furthermore these efforts should be structured for various specific segments of society such as real estate agents.

  3. The Hawaii State Fair Housing Law is considered a strong law, but no discrimination cases have been filed thus far. League members knowledge of or actual personal experience with discrimination in access to housing seem to indicate that this is not because of the total lack of racial discrimination in Honolulu, and that this could be an area for further study for the Honolulu League.

III. How do you interpret the climate of opinion in your community with respect to residential desegregation?

  1. On the whole, the opportunity to purchase or rent dwellings in Honolulu is determined by economic ability, and that incidents of racial discrimination in housing, when they did occur, were practiced by individuals in all racial groups.

    Japanese vs all others, including Caucasians
    Caucasians vs all others
    Hawaiians vs Caucasians and Japanese

    That Honolulu is a community of minority groups hence no one group holds a balance of power.

  2. People who seem to have difficulty as a group in choice of housing because of their race seem to be those who are among the most recent arrivals in Hawaii such as the Filipinos and Samoans.

    Members also described incidents with racial overtones occurring in public schools where Caucasian children are intimidated by "local" children who seem to come from deprived areas. That racial prejudice plus economic suppression makes for conflict and we must recognize the urgency of planning for the assimilation of new arrivals and of promoting equal opportunity for employment, education and housing for all citizens.

  3. Honolulu Leaguers are aware that access to housing is a national problem caused largely by severe racial polarization. Lacking this element in Honolulu, there was more concern with the high cost of housing and the scarcity of dwellings for low, moderate and even middle income families. The fact that a few major private owners control 60% with the State and Federal Governments owning an additional 30% of the lands may contribute to the high cost of land and also to the small percentage of home ownership.

  4. To INSURE the present, positive race relations in Honolulu, it was suggested that a human rights commission (like St. Louis') be established whereby people with problems involving racial discrimination will have the opportunity to be heard. That Hawaii still has time to deter the growth of racial polarization and urban problems.

    But one League member emphatically pointed out - we never seem to learn, we always have to wait for a crisis before anything is done.


    SUGGESTED READING

    The Sunday Star-Bulletin & Advertiser

    Oct 27, 1968 page G-4 What Kind of Growth Do We Want? by William Summers Johnson

    Oct 20, 1968 page A-14 How Can All Take Full Part In Planning? by Tom Dinell

    Star-Bulletin Nov 22-1968 Isle Population Rising Sharply by James H. Shoemaker

    Lind, Andrew W.: HAWAII'S PEOPLE 1967 University of Hawaii Press Library of Hawaii H 312 Li. "Hawaii' s People" written for the layman as well as the sociologist, is a non-technical, informative account of who Hawaii's people are, where they came from, why and when they came, Where and how they live, and - most interesting of all - what they are becoming.

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