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Fair Housing Center Opposes Jefferson Parish Resolution; Cites Potential Discriminatory Effects

Posted on 20. Oct, 2006 by

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) opposes a resolution passed by the Jefferson Parish Council on Wednesday October 18, 2006. The resolution encourages the State to reject applications for tax credits to build apartment complexes and single family homes in Terrytown and Gretna. The resolution will likely discourage developers from pursuing the construction of multi-family housing in the areas. People with disabilities, African Americans, Latinos and low income families disproportionately rely on multi-family housing. Thus, the parish’s resolution may have an illegal, discriminatory effect on these protected populations. Prohibiting multi-family housing in similar cases has been found illegal and discriminatory in lawsuits relying on the federal Fair Housing Act, as amended in 1988.

GNOFHAC urges the Louisiana Housing Finance Authority to continue awarding tax credits in Jefferson and in every parish in Louisiana. Further, GNOFHAC calls on Jefferson to retract the resolution.

Jefferson Parish’s actions follow an alarming trend engaged in by area parishes to stem low-income and rental housing within their borders. For example, the Slidell City Council is in the final stages of passing a moratorium significantly limiting the construction of multi-family housing. Earlier this month, GNOFHAC filed suit against St. Bernard Parish for passing a zoning ordinance restricting rental of single family housing to blood relatives. GNOFHAC has received reports that St. James Parish may have a comparable blood relative ordinance.

GNOFHAC Executive Director James Perry comments, “This position by the Jefferson Parish Council is extremely disturbing. There is a dire shortage of housing in Southeast Louisiana right now. Rather than limit housing choices, the Parish should encourage housing opportunities for everyone.”

View the press release here

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