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Fair Housing Center to File Discrimination Complaint Against Katrina Housing Websites

Posted on 23. Dec, 2005 by

On December 23, 2005, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC), working with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Relman and Associates Law firm, will file administrative complaints against katrinahousing.org, katrinahome.com, dhronline.org and nolahousing.org. The complaint alleges that each of the web sites has published discriminatory housing advertisements stating clear preferences based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and/or familial status. Under the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended in 1988, it is illegal to engage in discriminatory advertising based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, and national origin.

The advertisements include phrases such as: “not racist, but white only,” “we do apologize but we are requesting only white or chinese families,” “should be white lady,” “we would prefer a middle class white family,” “to make things more understandable for our younger child we would like to house white children,” “There aren’t many black residents in my location, so a young white man may find it easier to adapt to our town,” “we live in redneck country here, especially in my neighborhood, and blacks are frowned on,” “must be honest and a Christian,” and “as a white couple, we would be looking for a white mother and baby.”

Corresponding letters to each of the web sites request that the sites remove all discriminatory advertisements, place a banner on the sites stating a policy of non-discrimination, use a content filter to prevent future discriminatory advertising, provide GNOFHAC with a list of addresses and telephone numbers of all
individuals who placed discriminatory advertisements, and reimburse GNOFHAC for its costs, frustration of its mission and its attorneys for their time.

James Perry, GNOFHAC Executive Director comments, “These advertisements are blatant and outright discriminatory. By posting these discriminatory statements on the World Wide Web, the web sites are perpetuating discrimination in America and across the world. Further, they are harming the very victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, that they purport to help. As a result, the sites must come into compliance by removing the advertisements and righting the effects of the discriminatory advertisements.”

12-23-05 Download the press release here

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