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Fair Housing and Emotional Support Animals

Posted on 09. Feb, 2017 by in Blog

Under the federal Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to deny someone housing because they have a disability. The Fair Housing Act also says that everyone has the right to “fully use and enjoy” their home. People with disabilities are entitled to any necessary, reasonable modifications or accommodations they might need in order to fully use and enjoy their home.
Read More…

Stand with Fair Housing on GiveNOLA Day

Posted on 03. May, 2016 by in Blog, Participate (for sidebar), Uncategorized

#FF0000 Raised $4,500 towards the $6,000 target.

Visit the Donation Station tonight between 4-7 to help us meet our goal!

Can’t make the event?  You can still join the movement by donating online here before midnight!

Fair Housing Center Applauds Council Members for Listening to Community Concerns; Urges Legislation

Posted on 12. Feb, 2015 by in News, Policy Updates

During a hearing of the Community Development Committee this afternoon, Councilmembers listened to the concerns of a broad array of community members about the widespread problem of poor conditions in New Orleans rental homes. Individuals and organizations including tenants and landlords testified about their frustrations with the current under-resourced and complaint driven system for code enforcement, along with the need for an affirmative inspection process for all rentals in the City.

Councilmembers Jason Williams and Latoya Cantrell have taken leadership to address longstanding problems with New Orleans rentals, most recently documented in a report issued by a group of community organizations. Though an ordinance has not yet been introduced, the Councilmembers and their staff have indicated that a citywide rental registry program would be most effective in maintaining a baseline standard of health and safety for renters, which make up over half of New Orleans’ population.

Testimony during the hearing painted a disturbing picture of the City’s rentals- Laura Tuggle of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services described a client who is visually impaired and lived in an apartment that had raw sewage running down the walls. There were also landlords present, like Roux Merlo, who voiced their support for an affirmative inspection process that will level the playing field for landlords that want to do right by their tenants.

James Perry, Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, comments “Nearly every New Orleanian has a horror story when it comes to unsafe conditions in a rental home: calls to a landlord or 311 that were ignored when mold took over the bathroom, kitchen appliances that didn’t work for months, or a leaky roof that ended up ruining a treasured possession. Today’s hearing was a first step towards transforming a legacy of poor quality in many of the City’s rental homes. Now is the time for our leaders to take the next step and introduce legislation that establishes a rental registry that works for New Orleans.”

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Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) is a private nonprofit organization. GNOFHAC is dedicated to eliminating housing discrimination and furthering equal housing opportunities through education, outreach, advocacy, and enforcement of fair housing laws across the metro New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas. The activities described in this release were privately funded.

Fair Housing Center Joins Rally at Supreme Court to Protect the Fair Housing Act

Posted on 21. Jan, 2015 by in News, Participate (for sidebar)

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Supreme Court will hear Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, a case that could threaten the long-standing legal theory of disparate impact, which has protected all Americans from discrimination for decades. James Perry, Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC), will join other advocates on the steps of the Supreme Court to rally in support of the disparate impact protection afforded by the Fair Housing Act.

The disparate impact protection requires that banks, landlords, and other housing providers should choose policies that apply fairly to all persons. Some policies that seem neutral in theory can unfairly exclude or segregate particular communities in practice. For example, an apartment complex could exclude applicants without full-time jobs- a policy that seems facially neutral. But such a policy has a disparate impact on people like disabled veterans or seniors who do not work full-time but may still afford an apartment.

Disparate impact makes it possible to recognize and prevent harmful and inequitable policies so that everyone is treated fairly.

The Supreme Court case focuses on Dallas, Texas, where the State of Texas approved the construction of affordable housing along racial lines, which reinforced residential segregation. For example, Texas allowed only three percent of the approved housing to be located in neighborhoods that are at least seventy percent white. The disparate impact protection has 45 years of legal precedent since the inception of the Fair Housing Act, including rulings by 11 different appellate courts across the country. Key GNOFHAC cases, including its decade-long legal battle with St. Bernard Parish, relied in part on the disparate impact theory.

In this case, the Inclusive Communities Project, an organization that seeks to further fair housing throughout Texas, is challenging the City of Dallas’ policy for allocating low-income-housing vouchers in a way that reinforced residential segregation. In response, the state of Texas is urging the justices to rule that disparate impact claims are not viable under the Fair Housing Act.

Today’s rally will be held from 9:00am-11:30am at the United States Supreme Court.

“This decision will not only profoundly impact housing choice for millions of Americans, but will shape our neighborhoods and communities for decades to come,” said James Perry, Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, who will be attending the rally on behalf of GNOFHAC. “Especially in an era of subtle discrimination that is pernicious in its effects, it is imperative that the Court act to protect the legacy of Dr. King’s work to create equal housing opportunity for all by upholding disparate impact.”

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Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) is a private nonprofit organization. GNOFHAC is dedicated to eliminating housing discrimination and furthering equal housing opportunities through education, outreach, advocacy, and enforcement of fair housing laws across the metro New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas. The activities described in this release were privately funded.

For Rent: Unsafe, Overpriced Home for the Holidays

Posted on 03. Dec, 2014 by in Blog, Participate (for sidebar)

Today, a coalition of community organizations including GNOFHAC, the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance (GNOHA) and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) released a white paper that reveals the prevalence of unsafe and unhealthy conditions in the City’s rental homes, in spite of rapidly rising rents.  The data is coupled with stories of frustration from New Orleans renters, which indicate that there is no functional system to process complaints from tenants or inspect rental properties for basic standards of quality and safety.

For Rent: Unsafe, Overpriced Home for the Holidays CoverThe paper calls on City leaders to work together to find solutions and address the problem of poor rental conditions in New Orleans. It also notes a recent citywide survey revealed that voters of all stripes support improving the quality of rental housing in New Orleans. Read More…

New GNOFHAC Study Finds African American Renters Face High Rate of Discrimination in New Orleans Upscale Neighborhoods

Posted on 06. Nov, 2014 by in Blog, Participate (for sidebar)

Today, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) released an audit study of housing discrimination against African Americans in New Orleans’ highest opportunity neighborhoods.

Audit infographicThe study, Where Opportunity Knocks the Doors Are Locked, found that African American mystery shoppers posing as prospective renters were either denied the opportunity to rent or received less favorable treatment than white mystery shoppers 44% of the time in New Orleans neighborhoods that offer high opportunity levels to families.

The study looks closely at what “high opportunity” means and how living in these communities is related to various aspects of one’s life. Read More…

Upcoming Mortgages and Natural Disasters Training

Posted on 02. Jul, 2014 by in Blog, Education News, Participate (for sidebar), Uncategorized, Upcoming Public Trainings

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 4.47.37 PMNext Monday, July 14th at 6:30 pm, GNOFHAC will partner with the Broadmoor Improvement Association and Evacuteers to present a course on Hurricane Preparedness.

GNOFHAC will give a presentation entitled Mortgages and Natural Disasters. This training covers information on how to prepare your home for a natural disaster and what steps to take after a natural disaster. The training wil be held at the Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center, located at 4300 Broad St. Light refreshments will be provided. Contact Sophie Rosen at srosen@gnofairhousing.org or call her at 504-596-2100 ext. 109 for more information.

2014 Legislative Session Wrap Up

Posted on 05. Jun, 2014 by in 2014 News, Blog, News, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Statements, Policy Updates, Uncategorized

Crop State CapThe 2014 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature wrapped last week. GNOFHAC fought vigorously to pass legislation that would expand fair housing protections to the LGBT community and victims of domestic violence, enrolling the support of over 50 organizations statewide, dozens of legislators, and hundreds of individual supporters.

Ultimately, too many Louisiana legislators bowed to hate speech from gay rights opponents and caved in to pressure from the landlord lobby instead of voting to protect domestic violence victims. Proposed legislation was ultimately not passed this year.

However, the outpouring of support from concerned citizens contributed to a gain in new legislative champions and bill sponsors, increased fair housing education amongst legislators, and helped us build strength in a tough environment. We are inspired by the incredible support and excited about the vital connections we built with legislators and partners that will make our chances of success even greater when we return to the Capitol next year.

Thank you for supporting our work by signing petitions, making donations, sending letters to your legislators, and speaking up on behalf of those who need your help the most. Advocates for justice across the state fought some really tough battles this session, but we’ll be back next year. Stay tuned because we’ll need your help again!

Meet Tim

Posted on 05. Jun, 2014 by in Uncategorized

TimTim Lafitte, Law Intern

George Washington Law School, c/o 2016

Why were you interested in working with GNOFHAC?  I became interested in GNOFHAC for the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the litigation process while doing valuable work for the New Orleans community.

What do you hope to gain from your internship this summer?  I hope to gain practical legal experience to complement my studies at GW Law.

What’s your favorite thing about New Orleans?  The relaxed pace of life in New Orleans is a nice change from the bustle of DC.

Meet Fahreta

Posted on 05. Jun, 2014 by in Uncategorized

FahretaFahreta Muminovic, Legal Intern

Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, c/o 2015 

Why were you interested in working with GNOFHAC?  I wanted to work with GNOFHAC generally because of public interest and specifically because of the various discrimination cases I would be exposed to, especially religious discrimination.

What do you hope to gain from your internship this summer?  I hope to gain experience and a better understanding of discriminatory practices within the housing market.

What’s your favorite thing about New Orleans? My favorite thing about New Orleans is the influence of different cultures and nationalities that are prevalent in the city’s architecture, food, and music.