Megan Confer-Hammond, the Interim Executive Director of the Fair Housing Project joined the the Community Solutions Call to share more on the organization’s mission on fighting for fair housing. She focused on the historical legacies of discrimination and current impact on the Pittsburgh community. A recording of the call can be accessed here.
Opening Remarks from Olivia Benson, Chief Operating Officer of The Forbes Fund
To date the program has hosted over 1900 zoom meetings with a little over 19,600 participants
Housing and Civil Rights with Megan of the Fair Housing Partnership
In her illuminating talk, Megan described what housing discrimination looks like in the city of Pittsburgh. How the past affects the present. She laid out a brief history of civil rights protections and how it pertains to housing discrimination and race. Using a variety of historical and legal data, she demonstrated how the city of Pittsburgh has discriminated against the local black community through a variety of measures and tactics such as the purposeful devaluation of property owned by black people and underinvestment in black communities. She powerfully noted that these processes are still going.
Among the practical solutions in fighting housing discrimination besides contacting the FHP for assistance is forcing local landlords to accept Section 8 housing vouchers, See the litigation here. Megan hoped that her talk would inspire people to take action.
The talk was followed by a brief Q&A and Megan suggested Andre Perry’s book and segued into the public policy update from Colleen, and notes on the importance of mobility and stable housing.
The Forbes Funds Program Updates: GPNP Policy Briefing
In the following segment, Colleen, the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership (GPNP) Director gave a brief policy update. She gave an overview and analysis of Governor Tom Wolf’s budget priorities and core budget themes. She noted that it called for an equitable tax system, repairing and improving infrastructure, investing in clean energy and workers, and capacity to fight COVID-19.
Regarding the General Fund, she observed that the Governor called for increased spending in education and health services. Finally, she highlighted that the core budget themes included direct care worker comprehensive training, supporting vulnerable populations through home and community based services, and support secure housing and assisting with family stability.
Closing and Future Events
The meeting ended with Olivia Benson reminding watchers of a new development and fundraising course designed with nonprofits in mind, upcoming community calls with guest speakers on Earth Week on April 19th, and Jerry Dickinson Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh on April 26th. Finally a reminder about an upcoming GPNP Policy Committee Meeting on April 15th.