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February 2015 Highlights

Posted on 02. Mar, 2015 by in Blog, Participate (for sidebar)

James Perry Roast - March 12!

Fundraising Roast of James Perry: March 12

Join us as we send James off after a decade of service to the Fair Housing Action Center with a roast in his honor!  James’ wife, Melissa Harris Perry, will moderate as guest speakers roast and toast the Center’s outgoing Executive Director.

Guests will enjoy specialty cocktails, wine, and hors d’oeuvres by James Beard Award winning chef Allison Vines-Rushing, and a silent auction featuring original work by local artists. Read More…

Council Heard Us Loud and Clear! Thank You!

Posted on 13. Feb, 2015 by in Blog, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Updates

NolaDeservesBetter

On Wednesday, GNOFHAC joined tenants, landlords, and community leaders to urge City Council to improve the quality of rental homes in New Orleans. Individuals and organizations shared testimony that painted a horrific picture of the conditions far too many New Orleans residents are living in.

Many people also voiced support for a rental registry program, although an ordinance has not yet been proposed. The program, enacted in numerous cities nationwide, would affirmatively inspect rental properties to insure all rental homes meet basic health and safely standards. Read More…

Will We See You Today?

Posted on 11. Feb, 2015 by in Actions, Blog, Policy Updates

NolaDeservesBetter

At 2pm, we’re heading to the Community Development Committee hearing at City Hall to let our leaders know that improving conditions in New Orleans rental homes is an important issue that we need them to take on. The committee will be weighing a plan to establish a regular inspection system for rental units to ensure all families have a safe place to call home.

The City Council hearing details are: Read More…

City Council Hearing on February 11

Posted on 04. Feb, 2015 by in Actions, Blog, Participate (for sidebar)

Smoke Detector with stat

Thanks to all of our supporters who have emailed City Councilmembers about our unsafe and inadequate rental homes. Your emails have made a huge impact.

The Council is taking this up next week—will you join us in Council chambers to share your story and ensure they know this is a fundamental issue of fairness? Read More…

Stop Slumlords

Posted on 03. Feb, 2015 by in Actions, Blog, Participate (for sidebar)

Dead Cockroach.

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. In some instances, lives have been tragically lost due to the poor conditions that plague New Orleans rentals- recent data show that 5,450 rental units in the City lack a working smoke detector.
Read More…

FHU Webinar Available for Real Estate Agents

Posted on 30. Jan, 2015 by in Participate (for sidebar), Upcoming Public Trainings

GNOFHAC now has a pre-recorded Fair Housing University (FHU) course available for real estate agents and brokers. The training, Navigating Fair Housing Requirements in the Modern Real Estate Market covers fair housing requirements for real estate agents and brokers using real case studies. The training also examines the impact of Hurricane Katrina and the foreclosure crisis on fair housing in New Orleans.

To access this free pre-recorded webinar or receive an in-person training for continuing education credits (CE) from Louisiana Real Estate Commission, contact outreach@gnofairhousing.org.

Fair Housing University Training for Architects Available

Posted on 30. Jan, 2015 by in Education News, Participate (for sidebar), Upcoming Public Trainings

GNOFHAC, a certified AIA education provider, is now offering a Fair Housing University workshop for architects (currently pending AIA credit).  The webinar has been prerecorded and can be downloaded onto your personal computer.

Register for the training here.

Fill out my online form.

Report: African American Renters Face High Rate of Discrimination in New Orleans Upscale Neighborhoods

Posted on 23. Jan, 2015 by in Education Media & Pubs, Participate (for sidebar), Reports

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) released a new report revealing troubling levels of housing discrimination against African Americans in New Orleans’ high opportunity neighborhoods. The 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.

Equally qualified black and white testers with matching incomes, career paths, family types, and rental histories attempted to view and apply for 50 apartment units. The paired tests were designed to hold all variables constant except race.

Discrimination against African American testers took multiple forms, including:

  • Refusal to respond to African American testers’ inquiries
  • Giving African American testers the runaround
  • Providing favorable treatment and incentives to white testers, but not African American testers
  • Making stereotypical assumptions about African American testers

Read the full report here.

For Rent: Unsafe, Overpriced Home for the Holidays

Posted on 23. Jan, 2015 by in Education Media & Pubs, Participate (for sidebar), Reports

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (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.Unsafe home for the holidays. Read the report here.

#KeepHousingFair in the News

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

MLK-Disp-Impact

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 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.

National civil rights advocates have shown their support of upholding current fair housing protections on twitter, Facebook, and in countless op-ed pieces in national media sources. These include: 

  1. Marc Morial’s Op-Ed: The Grio
  2. Stanley Pottinger and John R. Dunne Op-Ed: The Hill
  3. Bill Lann Lee’s Op-Ed: The Sacramento Bee
  4. Barbara Arnwine’s Op-Ed: MSNBC
  5. Larry Schwartztol: ACLU blog

More from the New York Times here.