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State, nonprofits try to revive fair housing advocate group

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BALTIMORE (AP) — A coalition of nonprofits backed by the state is hoping to revive Maryland’s only federally designated fair housing advocate, which closed suddenly in August.

Maryland Assistant Housing Secretary Carol Gilbert tells The Baltimore Sun that the closure of Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc. surprised its government and nonprofit partners. The group’s expenses had exceeded its revenues as both government grants and private donations declined.

Gilbert has asked Community Development Network Executive Director Odette Ramos to spearhead a coalition including the ACLU of Maryland, among others. With the National Fair Housing Alliance, the coalition has renamed BNI the Fair Housing Action Center of Maryland and hopes to be in operation by July 1.

Ramos says the state and Baltimore County have assured the new board they’ll provide grants to fund its work.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

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