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Staff Spotlight: A Housing Counselor’s Work Helps Families Keep their Homes

Posted on 27. Jun, 2014 by in Blog, Homeownership Protection News, Participate (for sidebar)

BradBrad Hellman is no rookie to the fair housing ballgame–he came to GNOFHAC about a year ago after working for a fair housing organization in California for the previous four years. He now works as a housing counselor here with GNOFHAC as a part of the Homeownership Protection Project.

As a housing counselor, Brad works with homeowners who are having trouble with their mortgages, and assists them in exploring options to avoid foreclosure and keep their homes. Brad reviews a client’s financial circumstances through one-on-one counseling, and analyzes what options they may have to keep their home. He then helps borrowers apply for workout options, and manages communications and negotiations with their loan servicers by advocating on behalf of clients. Read More…

Baton Rouge Community Revitalization Fund Application

Posted on 12. Feb, 2014 by in 2014 News, Blog, Homeownership Protection News, News, Participate (for sidebar)

foreclosurehousesignIn June 2013, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development reached an historic conciliation agreement with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. The agreement resulted from a federal housing discrimination complaint originally filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), GNOFHAC, and 12 other fair housing organizations around the country. The complaint alleged that Wells Fargo-owned properties in white neighborhoods were much better maintained and marketed than homes in African-American and Latino neighborhoods, which would be a violation of the Fair Housing Act. As part of the agreement, GNOFHAC will administer a fund to provide programs and services to promote homeownership, neighborhood stabilization, property rehabilitation, and development in communities of color.

Apply Now!

Read More…

Hurricane Isaac Resource Guide Created by GNOFHAC

Posted on 19. Sep, 2012 by in Blog, Homeownership Protection News, Participate (for sidebar), Uncategorized

As most of you know, Hurricane Isaac hit Louisiana just three weeks ago, leaving many people with damaged homes and property, some unlivable. In addition, many lost important things like food, clothing, medication, and other vital belongings. Unfortunately, countless families and individuals that lost so much have had a difficult time finding the assistance or information they need.  In response to this need, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) has created a Hurricane Isaac Resource Guide to help people navigate the recovery process after the storm. Read More…

Tell HUD & The State of Louisiana to Fix the Discriminatory Road Home Program!

Posted on 20. May, 2011 by in 2011 News, Actions, Homeownership Protection News, News, Road Home

In 2008, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) filed a lawsuit against the State of Louisiana and HUD because the design of the Road Home program, the program designed to help people recover from Hurricane Katrina, is inherently racially discriminatory. A few weeks ago GNOFHAC was engaged in promising settlement talks with Louisiana and HUD, but now that a federal appellate court has lifted an injunction against them they have walked away from settlement negotiations. Last week, Louisiana announced an Action Plan Amendment designed to address some of our concerns, but it just won’t provide enough resources to fix the problem. Read More…

Fair Housing Center Client Featured in Louisiana Weekly Article

Posted on 21. Feb, 2011 by in 2011 News, Homeownership Protection News, News

On February 21, Glenneice Davenport, a client of GNOFHAC’s Homeownership Protection Project (HOP), was featured in the Lousiana Weekly. Entitled “Stealing the American Dream of homeownership,” the article focuses on homeowners who were caught in predatory loan situations after Katrina.

2-21-11 Read the article here.

Action Alert: Tell HUD Secetary Donovan To Fix Discrimination In Road Home Program Today!

Posted on 25. Sep, 2010 by in 2010 News, Homeownership Protection News, News

Last week, the New Orleans City Council unanimously adopted a resolution urging “the State of Louisiana immediately to take appropriate actions to implement the U.S. District Court ruling” issued by the honorable Judge Kennedy in August regarding the discrimination inherent to Louisiana’s Road Home Program.  We’ve sent a copy of the resolution to the state and to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan because they have the ability to fix the Road Home program at any time for both future and past participants.  The state of Louisiana and HUD should use any remaining Road Home money to help families affected by the discriminatory formula get back into their homes!

On August 16, a federal court judge ruled that the Road Home housing program is likely discriminatory.  With approximately 150,000 participants, the program is the largest single housing program ever undertaken by the federal government.   It was designed to help Louisiana residents recover from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Judge Kennedy enjoined the program from using its discriminatory formula.  His ruling will insure that future grant recipients are treated fairly. However, Judge Kennedy believes that the law doesn’t allow him to help families who have already received Road Home grants.  We’ve asked a federal appeals court to consider whether or not Kennedy can help the scores of thousands of families who have already received discriminatory grants from the program.

But in the meantime, we need your help.  The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, led by Secretary Shaun Donovan, could fix the Road Home program at anytime for both future and past participants.  At a minimum Sec. Donovan could direct the State of Louisiana to use any remaining Road Home money to help families affected by the discriminatory formula get back into their homes.

Email Secretary Donovan or call him at 202-708-0417 and tell him to fix the Road Home Program.

8-25-10 Learn more about the Road Home and why it is discriminatory here.

8-16-10 Read the nola.com article “Road Home’s grant calculations discriminate against black homeowners, federal judge rules” here.

8-27-10 Read the Washington Post article “Uneven Katrina recovery efforts often offered the most help to the most affluent” here.

8-27-10 Watch the CNBC segment “Rocky Road Home” here

8-31-10 Read the Miller-McCune article “No Port After the Storm” here

GNOFHAC Director Comments on Iberville Redevelopment

Posted on 27. Aug, 2010 by in 2010 News, Homeownership Protection News, News, Uncategorized

“With little fanfare or public conversation, the Housing Authority of New Orleans has begun the redevelopment process of the city’s last major pre-Katrina public housing complex — the Iberville development… Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Executive Director James Perry said that he did not know of any public outreach done about the redevelopment. ‘I’ve heard nothing outside of (closed) meetings,” he said. “Before HUD and HANO start talking about redeveloping Iberville, they should honor commitments to completing the rebuilding of the Big Four redevelopments they’ve already started.'”

8-27-10 Read the rest of The Lens article here or download.

Federal Judge Rules that Road Home Program is Likely Discriminatory; New Orleans City Council Adopts Resolution Urging State to Take Appropriate Action

Posted on 16. Aug, 2010 by in 2010 News, Enforcement News, Homeownership Protection News, News, Road Home

Last week, the New Orleans City Council unanimously adopted a resolution urging “the State of Louisiana immediately to take appropriate actions to implement the U.S. District Court ruling” issued by the honorable Judge Kennedy in August regarding the discrimination inherent to Louisiana’s Road Home Program. GNOFHAC sent a copy of the resolution to the state and to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan because they have the ability to fix the Road Home program at any time for both future and past participants. The state of Louisiana and HUD should use any remaining Road Home money to help families affected by the discriminatory formula get back into their homes.

On August 16, a federal court judge ruled that the Road Home housing program is likely discriminatory. With approximately 150,000 participants, the program is the largest single housing program ever undertaken by the federal government. It was designed to help Louisiana residents recover from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Judge Kennedy enjoined the program from using its discriminatory formula. His ruling will insure that future grant recipients are treated fairly. However, Judge Kennedy believes that the law doesn’t allow him to help families who have already received Road Home grants. GNOFHAC asked a federal appeals court to consider whether or not Kennedy can help the scores of thousands of families who have already received discriminatory grants from the program.

8-25-10 Learn more about the Road Home and why it is discriminatory here.

8-16-10 Read the nola.com article “Road Home’s grant calculations discriminate against black homeowners, federal judge rules” here.

8-27-10 Read the Washington Post article “Uneven Katrina recovery efforts often offered the most help to the most affluent” here.

8-27-10 Watch the CNBC segment “Rocky Road Home” here

8-31-10 Read the Miller-McCune article “No Port After the Storm” here

Fair Housing Executive Director Urges Congress To Address Government Sponsored Housing Discrimination In Gulf Region

Posted on 29. Jul, 2010 by in 2010 News, Homeownership Protection News, News, Road Home

On Thursday, July 29, 2010, Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) Executive Director James Perry testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.  Perry reported that in the Gulf Coast region since Katrina, “the most egregious cases of discrimination have been perpetuated by government actors entrusted to serve the very communities that they have discriminated against.”

Perry cited numerous examples of how discriminatory actions and policies on the part of government have “stunted recovery for scores of thousands of Gulf Coast residents,” particularly people of color, people with disabilities, families with children, and low-income residents.  For example, “rather than a Road Home, many black homeowners have found a road leading to despair, inequity and discrimination” because of the racially discriminatory Road Home grant calculation formula.  Perry also pointed to discriminatory actions and policies on the part of FEMA, St. Bernard Parish, the State of Louisiana, and the Housing Authority of New Orleans in the five years since Katrina.

7-30-10 Read the Gannett article “House Weighs Fair Housing Act Changes” here

7-29-10 Read the entire press release here

7-29-10 Read Perry’s testimony here

7-29-10 Listen to audio of Perry’s testimony here

7-28-10 Read the press release announcing Perry’s testimony here

Anti-Immigrant House Bill 1205 Likely Violates The Federal Fair Housing Act

Posted on 20. Apr, 2010 by in 2010 News, Homeownership Protection News, News

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) opposes House Bill 1205, “Louisiana Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2010,” because it is likely a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act.  The bill will increase racial profiling and discrimination on the basis of national origin in the state of Louisiana.  Please call Representative Harrison at 800-935-2081 today to express your opposition to House Bill No. 1205!

4-20-10 Read Puentes’ analysis of some of the provisions of HB 1205 and find out how to get involved with efforts to stop the bill here.

4-20-10 Read the text of House Bill 1205 here.

4-20-10 Learn about similar ordinances in Hazelton, PA that have been struck down in Federal District Court. Watch this video.