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November 5: Run and Walk on Team Fair Housing in City Park

Posted on 07. Oct, 2016 by in Blog, Education Actions, Events, Participate (for sidebar), Uncategorized

Join GNOFHAC staff and friends as we walk and run for Fair Housing in the Crescent City Fall Classic 5k on Saturday, November 5!

GNOFHAC CCFC 2013

Team Fair Housing: Fall Classic 2013

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Help Keep Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordable

Posted on 10. Feb, 2014 by in Actions, Blog, Education Actions, Homeownership Protection Actions, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Updates

You’ve probably heard about changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) under a bill entitled the Biggert-Waters Act. The changes raise rates to reflect true flood risk, and were intended to make the program more financially sustainable.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

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Socially Conscious Gifts for Kids

Posted on 20. Nov, 2013 by in Blog, Education Actions, Participate (for sidebar), Uncategorized

FH5

This holiday season, Americans will spend an estimated 450 billion dollars on unwanted gifts!  That’s a lot of money to spend on this season’s “must have presents” and “trendiest items” that will ultimately end up being re-gifted or sitting in the back of a closet somewhere.

If you need a meaningful gift for a child in your life, why not put buy something that will give back to the community?  Imagine what we could do if we used our collective buying power to choose presents that have a positive impact!

Fair Housing Five cover imageGNOFHAC’s original children’s book, The Fair Housing Five & the Haunted House, is a beautiful, full-color book illustrated by New Orleans artist Sharika Mahdi Neville.   It was created by local educators and Fair Housing staff and is designed to get kids thinking about civil rights and equality.

GNOFHAC staff use the book in youth workshops at schools across the city, and we’re thrilled that housing advocates across the country now use The Fair Housing Five as a tool for change. Proceeds from book sales go to the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, so you can give a great gift while contributing to a great cause.  Bonus points for buying an extra copy to donate to a school or library. For more information on the book, or to purchase a copy, visit www.fairhousingfive.org.

What are your favorite socially conscious gifts?  Let us know in the comments!

Fit For King Cocktail Reception

Posted on 19. Dec, 2012 by in Blog, Education Actions, Events, Participate (for sidebar)

Join us on on Friday, January 18 from 4:30 to 6:30 PM for the Fit for King Cocktail Reception to support the civil rights work of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center. Read More…

Homelessness, Displacement, Evictions . . . This Sounds Familiar

Posted on 05. Jul, 2012 by in Blog, Education Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

By Hannah Adams, Guest Contributor

There are a number of obvious parallels between housing needs in New Orleans after the 2005 hurricanes and housing needs in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

In both disasters, large regions lost the majority of their affordable housing stock, resulting in massive spikes in homelessness and displacement.  UNITY of Greater New Orleans reports that homelessness rates effectively doubled in the city from January 2005 to January 2009. [1] The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center adds that New Orleans experienced a population loss of over 140,000 according to the 2010 census, and that poor New Orleanians and families with children under eighteen were among those less likely to return. [2] Meanwhile, the Under Tents Campaign reports that 400,000 Haitians remain homeless in displacement camps where they face gender-based violence, disease, unsanitary living conditions, and flooding. Read More…

Ends & Beginnings

Posted on 27. Jun, 2012 by in Blog, Education Actions

It is with some sadness that I prepare for my departure from the staff of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) this Friday.  It has been a great honor and pleasure to work with GNOFHAC for the past five years.  In those five years I have seen the organization grow in exciting ways.  When I started we had six people on staff, now we have thirteen.  We have expanded our enforcement, homeownership counseling, and education work and added a policy department.  As Education Coordinator I have had the pleasure of working with outreach staff, educators and advocates to organize five fair housing conferences, create workshops and curricula for young people about housing equity, institutionalize our training offerings through Fair Housing University, and realize one of GNOFHAC’s long term dreams by publishing a children’s book about housing discrimination.

I have also grown through my experience working with GNOFHAC.  I have learned that housing is at the center of the web of systems that impact communities, and that exclusionary housing policies and practices impact families for generations. I am deeply committed to the fair housing movement and I am interested in fair housing litigation as a tool for institutional change.  This fall I will be starting at Northeastern University School of Law, with the goal of supporting fair housing work as a civil rights attorney. Read More…

Staff Interview: Hannah Adams, Education Coordinator

Posted on 22. Jun, 2012 by in Blog, Education Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

What is your current role in the office?

I am the Education Coordinator.  I organize and implement many of our education and outreach initiatives.

Can you describe some of your day-to-day work in the office?

I manage Fair Housing University, which is our initiative to educate stakeholders in the community about their fair housing rights and responsibilities.  We offer trainings to housing providers, service providers, and other community members. I also do workshops with young people and manage the distribution of our children’s book, The Fair Housing Five & the Haunted House.  Finally, I do web outreach and graphic design for the Center.

What is a project or case that you are currently working on?

One thing I am working on right now is trying to figure out a way to package our fair housing board game so we can share it with other fair housing centers and educators who are interested in using it in their classrooms.  The Equal Opportunity Game is a board game we created for youth to demonstrate the impact of housing discrimination, and it just won an award through the Ashoka Changemakers “Activating Empathy” competition. Read More…

Staff Interview: Susan Wayman, Fundraiser Coordinator

Posted on 14. Jun, 2012 by in Blog, Education Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

What is you current role in the office?

I am the Fundraiser Coordinator.

Can you describe some of your day-to-day work in the office?

I have developed the organization’s fundraising plan, I research major donors, train the staff about fundraising, plan and produce fundraising events, organize the volunteer program, and distribute fundraising material.

Can you describe a project or case that you are currently working on or recently finished?

Last April I produced a fundraising event called Yes In My Back Yard at the Bayou Beer Garden. I thought up the idea, invited people to the event and found volunteers to work the event. Read More…

Picketreport.com and the Impact of Segregation

Posted on 14. May, 2012 by in Blog, Education Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

Image of Lifestyle module

Image courtesy of Jezebel.com

Several weeks ago the worlds of web-based technology and fair housing met head-to-head in a conflict that illuminates some disturbing trends.  Some of you may have followed the recent launch of Picketreport.com, a hot new mapping website backed by Quicken Loans.  It allows a homeseeker to view an interactive map of a neighborhood that includes businesses in the area like coffee shops and grocery stores, as well as schools and crime reports, all via cute little multi-colored icons.

What you can’t view on Picketreport.com anymore is the website’s flagship Lifestyle module, which used terms like “Young City Solos” and “Middle Class Melting Pot” to describe the kinds of people that live in the neighborhood you are viewing.  Unfortunately, the Lifestyle module also employed glaring racial stereotypes to label communities of color, like “Soul Survivors” and “Soulful Spenders” to describe working class and upper-middle class African American communities, “Ciudad Strivers” to describe middle-class Latino communities, and “Asian Achievers” to describe affluent Asian families.  In case you were wondering, middle and upper class white families were not described as “White Winners,” or “Cruising Caucasians” but rather the race-neutral “American Royalty” and “Silver Sophisticates.”  Business websites lauded Picketreport.com for “tell[ing] consumers what realtors can’t” because of the Fair Housing Act.  One article (that, shockingly, Picketreport.com proudly links to from its website) suggests that real estate agents can now just direct consumers to the website when questions are posed about the kind of people who live in a neighborhood (translation: racial/ethnic demographic.)  See my earlier post about this issue. Read More…

Invest in Equitable Neighborhoods to Lower Our Murder Rate

Posted on 04. May, 2012 by in Blog, Education Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

neighborhoodOne of the basic underpinnings of the fair housing movement is that everyone should have equal access to housing that is affordable and safe in neighborhoods that meet their needs.

Last week, two 15-year olds in New Orleans lost their lives to tragic gun violence.  Brandon Adams was shot and killed in the Desire neighborhood after having played basketball with his brother.  On Monday, a homeless person discovered Christine Marcelin’s bullet-riddled body in New Orleans East.  Brandon and Christine were a couple and were in the 8th grade at KIPP Believe College Prep.  By some accounts, Brandon may have been attacked because of a petty argument over turf in the park he was playing basketball in before his death.  The motive for Christine’s death is unclear according to media accounts so far.

This is a story we should all be paying attention to.  Doing so honors Brandon and Christine and hopefully their families.  It also might give us some insight into what causes our astronomical murder rate, and what we can do to address it.

The fair housing movement offers us one useful perspective.  A fair housing analysis suggests that where a person lives determines numerous other quality of life factors including their access to healthy food, educational opportunities, air quality, and yes- even exposure to violent crime.  Within this framework we must acknowledge that the state of the neighborhoods where these children were murdered in is an important part of their stories.  In one article, a reporter writes about the scene of Brandon’s murder: Read More…