Affordable Housing

Where are People Supposed to Live?

Barbara Finch, in her Nov. 25 commentary in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, states that “adequate housing that is accessible and affordable for every citizen is a prerequisite for a healthy community.” Read more here.

HUD Weakens Fair Housing Protections

November 2, 2020

The Racial Justice Committee focuses on affordable housing as a key plank in their strategic plan. We want to highlight a recent very damaging actino by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A new rule is being finalized that will destroy 45-year-old civil rights protection for the most vulnerable individuals. The rule will make it more difficult to combat systemic racism and discriminatory practices by housing providers, financia institutions and insurance companies. Learn more from the National Fair Housing Alliance and their partners.

Lawsuit settled over mice-infested apartments in St. Louis public housing

July 23, 2019

The Post Dispatch reports: “The Missouri attorney general’s office has dropped its lawsuit against the St. Louis Housing Authority and a housing management company after a year of clean-up at the Clinton-Peabody Housing Complex south of downtown St. Louis.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office said Monday the management company, McCormack Baron Management Inc., had spent more than $300,000 to clean up mold, mice and bug infestations since the attorney general’s office sued the company and the housing authority last August.”

Women’s Voices members attended meetings and advocated on behalf of the Clinton-Peabody tenants. Read the full article here.

Traumatized Residents Describe Living Conditions at Housing Complex

March 22, 2018

Five members of Women’s Voices joined dozens of others who crammed into the crowded board room when members of the Board of Commissioners of the St. Louis Housing Authority met on March 22. The topic of discussion: an intractable infestation of mice, which has plagued the residents of the Clinton-Peabody housing complex for more than a year.

Residents took to the microphone to describe intolerable living conditions. Mice, bedbugs and roaches force residents to keep their lights on all the time; foul odors force them to open their windows even in the winter. “Our living conditions are embarrassing and dangerous and traumatizing. I hate living at Clinton-Peabody,” one woman said, as she burst into tears. Another resident challenged board members to “spend one night in an apartment at the complex.”

Commissioner Regina Stewart

While most board members listened impassively to the residents concerns, one commissioner, Regina Stewart, was moved by their heartfelt pleas for help. “I will not spend the night in a mice-infested apartment, but I do promise you that we will come up with a plan to help you,” she said, to a standing ovation. “I hear your pain, and we must do something

Suing for workplace, housing discrimination in Missouri tougher under new law

July 1, 2017
Gov. Eric Greitens approved a measure that will require people to explicitly prove their race, sex or other protected status actually motivated their boss or colleague to mistreat them to win an employment discrimination case….Under the new law, which goes into effect Aug. 28, such an employee would need to meet a higher standard: The worker would have to show that race explicitly “motivated” mistreatment through, for example, written documentation of racist comments. Read more here.

Facts About the New Workplace, Housing Discrimination Bill

Quick facts:

    • Harder to sue your employer when you are discriminated against
    • Could put federal housing funding at risk
    • MO NAACP called this type of legislation “Jim Crow,” a regression to a time before civil rights legislation
    • Removes some whistleblower protections making us all less safe.
    • Removes ability to sue a specific employee, creating a devastating result for survivors of sexual harassment and potential future victims.

Missouri would be the first state to roll back civil rights protections – rights in employment and housing that were won through decades of struggle.