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Fair Housing Center Settles Domestic Violence Complaint

Posted on 02. Oct, 2015 by in Enforcement Actions, News

New Orleans- Today, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) settled a federal complaint on behalf of a client against Latter & Blum Property Management, Inc. and Chateau Carre Apartments Limited Partnership arising out of a threatened eviction of a mother and her toddler son after she suffered an incidence of domestic abuse in her apartment.

In December of 2013, GNOFHAC’s client was the victim of domestic abuse in her home. On that day, an ex-boyfriend showed up hoping to reconcile. When she refused, he attacked, attempted to strangle her, and threw her against a mirror, shattering it in the process. The complaint alleged that after she returned home from the hospital the following day, a manager of the apartment complex notified her that she and her son must immediately vacate their apartment because of the incident.

The case became the basis for legislation sponsored by Senator Sharon Weston Broome of Baton Rouge and passed by the Louisiana legislature during the 2015 session. The Louisiana Violence Against Women Act, which bans housing discrimination against survivors of domestic violence, went into effect August 1st. The case was also featured in a Gambit Weekly investigation revealing the housing challenges and discrimination against survivors of domestic violence.

Cashauna Hill, GNOFHAC Executive Director, comments, “No one should lose their home because they were a victim of a crime. We are humbled that our client came forward to make sure that no one else will lose their home due to unlawful discrimination. We encourage anyone who lost their housing because they were a victim of domestic abuse to call the Fair Housing Action Center.”

Latter & Blum Property Management, Inc. is the largest full service real estate firm in the Gulf South, according to their website. Chateau Carre Limited Partnership, an entity with officers based in New Orleans and New York, is the property owner.

 

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The 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.

Protect the Fair Housing Act!

Posted on 27. Jun, 2012 by in Actions, Enforcement Actions, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Updates

The U.S. House is voting TODAY on its annual housing spending bill, and at the last moment two amendments were introduced that block rights for families facing discrimination, including people with disabilities. Please contact your Representative right now.

Call your Representative right now at:  (202) 224-3121 or click here to send an email to tell them you oppose the Garrett AND the Scalise amendments to H.R. 5972.

Points to mention when you call:

  • These amendments fly in the face of the basic American values of free choice and fairness.
  • The Fair Housing Act has a framework to root out both plainly intentional discriminatory acts and seemingly “neutral” policies that allow housing discrimination to continue nationwide.
  • Rep. Garrett’s amendment attempts to eliminate this decades-old protection for American families by blocking the enforcement of HUD’s proposed regulation regarding the disparate impact theory under the Fair Housing Act.
  • Rep. Scalise’s amendment supersedes local laws that can prohibit landlords from using criminal background checks to deny housing to potential applicants

NFHA Report Points to Progress in Combatting NIMBYism

Posted on 03. May, 2012 by in Blog, Education Actions, Enforcement Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

Download Fair Housing Trends ReportThis week the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) released its annual Fair Housing Trends report for 2012:  Fair Housing in a Changing Nation.  The report reviews fair housing cases brought and settled by private enforcement agencies like NFHA and GNOFHAC, as well as HUD and the Department of Justice.  As in past years, the report shows the highest number of fair housing complaints in the rental market, with race, familial status, and disability discrimination complaints topping the charts.

The report also highlights a development that has excited the fair housing world for the past couple of years: the use of HUD’s “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) requirement as a tool to combat Not in My Backyard (NIMBY) attitudes that often serve as a roadblock to affordable housing development around the country.  In many communities, NIMBYism on the part of elected officials, vocal community members, and neighborhood/civic associations, results in hardship for low and moderate-income families who must to struggle with housing that is unaffordable, poorly maintained, and/or isolated from resources and amenities that tend to cluster around prosperous communities.  This impact is not race-neutral by any means; according to the NFHA report, “three times as many poor African Americans and over twice as many poor Latinos currently live in resource-poor neighborhoods as compared to poor whites.” Read More…

Senate Mark Up, But Tough Road for Housing Funding Ahead

Posted on 24. Apr, 2012 by in Blog, Education Actions, Enforcement Actions, Homeownership Protection Actions, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Updates

US CapitolAt the end of last week, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, including Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, passed the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee’s 2013 appropriations bill.  Despite an allocation to the Subcommittee at levels below FY 2012, housing received $34.96 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion above the President’s FY 2013 request (due to offsets in receipts from Ginnie Mae and FHA).

While that may seem like great news for housing advocates nationwide, the Senate bill faces a tough road ahead: because the House version, expected later this week, will reflect close to $30 billion less in discretionary spending, resolution of differences between House and Senate versions could prove extremely difficult. Read More…

I know I shouldn’t say this, but…

Posted on 02. Mar, 2012 by in Blog, Enforcement Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

Watch the videoThroughout October 2011, GNOFHAC partnered with local news affiliate WDSU to conduct testing or mystery shopping of private landlords and apartment complexes in the Mandeville and Covington areas.  If you missed WDSU’s feature on apartment mystery shopping, you can check it out online: http://www.wdsu.com/video/30527977/detail.html.  Our testing revealed that African Americans experienced a difference in treatment based upon their race 64 percent of the time when apartment shopping.  This difference in treatment is discriminatory conduct and is illegal under the federal Fair Housing Act.

As reported in the WDSU story, 7 out of 11 times African Americans faced discrimination when apartment shopping on the Northshore.  This rate of discrimination is higher than what we discovered in our 2007 audit when African American testers were discriminated against 57.5% of the time. Read More…

Protect the Future of Affordable Housing in Louisiana!

Posted on 14. Jun, 2011 by in Actions, Enforcement Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

Governor Jindal is proposing the dismantling of the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency (LHFA). House Bill 590 and Senate Bill 249 by Rep. Thomas Carmody and Senator Neil Riser seeks to dismantle LHFA. The bills claim to work towards streamlining government by combining housing programs.

But a trusted source in American finance thinks otherwise. Moody’s (who rates LHFA’s credit worthiness) says the consolidation will almost certainly be a “significant credit negative.” They say that the move will “dilute LHFA’s strong balance sheet,” and reduce LHFA’s liquidity. Read More…

Protect the Future of Affordable Housing in Louisiana

Posted on 11. May, 2011 by in 2011 News, Actions, Enforcement Actions, News, Participate (for sidebar)

Governor Jindal is proposing the dismantling of the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency (LHFA). House Bill 590 and Senate Bill 249 by Rep. Thomas Carmody and Senator Neil Riser seeks to dismantle LHFA. The bills claim to work towards streamlining government by combining housing programs. Sign the petition to protect LHFA and the future of affordable housing in Louisiana!

Sign the petition here

Fair Housing Center Launches Campaign to Counteract Discriminatory Actions of St. Bernard Parish

Posted on 23. Mar, 2011 by in 2011 News, Actions, Enforcement Actions, Enforcement News, News, Participate (for sidebar)

On March 23, 2011, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) launched a new campaign to counteract the racially discriminatory housing practices of St. Bernard Parish. The “Enough is Enough St. Bernard” campaign seeks to encourage both residents and non-residents of St. Bernard Parish to tell St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro and the St. Bernard Parish Council to end their efforts to prevent racial minorities from living in the Parish. More information, including petitions, is available at http://www.gnofairhousing.org/enoughisenough.html

3-23-11 Read the press release here

3-23-11 Visit the website here here

3-23-11 Read the nola.com article “Website asks Nola area residents to weigh in on St. Bernard Parish housing practices” here or download

Fair Housing Center Urges Jefferson Parish Housing Authority to Reopen Section 8 Waiting List

Posted on 01. Dec, 2009 by in 2009 News, Actions, Enforcement Actions, News, Participate (for sidebar)

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) denounces the process by which the Jefferson Parish Housing Authority (JPHA) recently opened its Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP, or “Section 8”) waiting list. A notice posted on the JPHA website on November 23rd, 2009 invites Jefferson Parish residents to fill out a “pre-application” form online, or request the form by mail between November 23rd and November 30th, 2009. The online form was removed at the close of business on November 30th, and JPHA’s notice stated that mailed requests received after November 30th or hand-delivered “will not be processed.” GNOFHAC is disappointed that JPHA chose to open its waiting list for the first time in years over the Thanksgiving holiday, a week when Jefferson Parish residents have limited access to social service and advocacy agencies, as well as post offices and public facilities that offer internet access. Furthermore, GNOFHAC is concerned that JPHA advertised the opportunity to apply for its HCVP waiting list exclusively via its website, and the legal notices section of the Times-Picayune.

12-11-09 Read the New York Times editorial “What New Orleans Needs” here

12-14-09 Read the City Business article “Section 8 Snub” here

12-1-09 Read the press release here