Discrimination suit against BHA

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Description: Christy George reports that a lawsuit has been filed against the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) to protest its discriminatory housing policies. It charges that the BHA has discouraged minorities from moving into all-white housing projects. The city is planning to voluntarily integrate its housing projects by next year. Interview with Tanya Boman and Annie Hailey, who are among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Boman and Hailey talk about their experience with the BHA. Both women were told that their families would be unsafe in white housing projects and that the BHA would not provide them with protection. Interview with Doris Bunte of the BHA, who denies any discriminatory practices on the part of BHA employees. Interview with City Councilor James Kelly, who defends the BHA and denounces public housing integration. Kelly has proposed an alternative public housing integration plan that eliminates preferences for minority families applying for apartments in white housing projects. Interview with Dianne Wilkerson of the NAACP. Wilkerson criticizes the city's record on public housing integration and the slow pace of change. This edition of the Ten O'Clock News also included the following item: David Boeri reports that midwives at Boston City Hospital have been locked out by the hospital administration in a dispute over hospital policy
1:00:19: Visual: Footage of Tanya Boman (plaintiff) sitting with her children. Boman says that people should have the right to live wherever they want to live. Christy George reports that Boman applied for public housing in 1985; that she was told to apply for an apartment in Charlestown or South Boston because the city would give preference to minorities requesting apartments in white housing projects. V: Shots of parochial school students walking toward a public housing project; of white residents in front of a housing project in South Boston. Footage of Boman saying that she asked the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) if they would provide protection for her family if they moved to a white housing project. Boman says that she was told that she would need to call the Boston Police Department if she ran into any problems. Boman says that she was told that she would be moved to the bottom of the waiting list if she moved out of the apartment for a "racial reason." George reports that a discrimination suit has been filed against the BHA on behalf of Boman, Annie Hailey (plaintiff), and unnamed parties. V: Footage of Hailey saying that she applied for an apartment in the McCormack Housing Development in 1987. Hailey says that the BHA told her that she would need to see the Civil Rights Board before she could move into the project. Hailey says that the BHA told her that the project would be unsafe for her teenage son. Footage of Doris Bunte (BHA) saying that the situation needs to be examined. Bunte says that she will not tolerate employees of the BHA who discourage minorities from living in white housing developments. George reports that the city is planning to voluntarily integrate its public housing projects. V: Shots of a broken-down wall near a housing project in South Boston; of parochial school students walking toward the housing project. George reports that African Americans may be the victims of harassment and violence when they move into white housing projects. V: Footage of Bunte saying that BHA employees can tell the truth; that BHA employees cannot use tactics designed to discourage African American families from moving to white housing projects. Footage of James Kelly (Boston City Council) in his office. Kelly says that people in private housing call the police for protection; that the BHA did not discriminate by telling an African American family to call the police for protection. George reports that Kelly has proposed a plan to integrate public housing in Boston very slowly; that Kelly's proposal eliminates minority preference. George says that Kelly believes that reverse discrimination causes racial hostility. V: Shots of a white woman looking out of a window of a project apartment; of a white woman and children in front of a project building in South Boston. Footage of Kelly being interviewed by George. Kelly says that there are South Boston residents who have been on the waiting list for years; that those residents are not being treated fairly. George reports that the suit suggests that many of Boston's housing projects are still segregated. George notes that Ray Flynn (Mayor of Boston) has been praised for his efforts to integrate the public housing projects in Charlestown. V: Footage of Dianne Wilkerson (NAACP) saying that there were 200 vacancies open in Charlestown; that over 600 African American families had requested apartments in Charlestown; that the BHA actively recruited white families to fill the vacancies in the Charlestown projects. Shot of housing project buildings in Charlestown. George reports that there are only six African American families in Charlestown; that Flynn has announced plans to integrate the housing projects in South Boston. V: Shots of signs for the Old Colony Housing Project and the Mary Ellen McCormack Housing Development. Shots of a white female resident standing at the entrance to a housing project in South Boston. Footage of Bunte saying that the mayor and the BHA want to move forward with integration. Bunte says that she hopes that the lawsuit does not hold back plans for integration.