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Fair Housing Center Settles Discrimination Lawsuit Against Metairie Landlord

Posted on 12. Apr, 2005 by in 2005 News, News

On April 12, 2005, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, Inc. (“GNOFHAC”) and an individual plaintiff settled a discrimination lawsuit against a Metairie landlord. The lawsuit, filed in December of 2002, settled for both monetary relief in the amount of $9,000 and affirmative relief ensuring that the landlord will not engage in future discriminatory acts.

In 2000, the plaintiff, a white female, alleged that when she sought to rent an apartment on Transcontinental Drive for both she and her husband, who is African-American, the landlord, a white male, stated that he only rented to single white tenants.

Following the defendant’s refusals, the plaintiff contacted GNOFHAC. In response to the complaint, GNOFHAC undertook a series of tests in 2000 and 2002 to investigate the defendant’s rental practices. In these tests, individuals seeking housing (“testers”) inquired with the defendant about renting available units. GNOFHAC’s testing documented a pattern and practice of discrimination based upon race, national origin, and sex. See attached narrative for testing details.
After conducting its investigation, GNOFHAC referred the complaint to cooperating attorneys Jim Logan of LOGAN & SOILEAU and Robert McKnight of MURPHY & MCKNIGHT, who filed the lawsuit and helped negotiate the settlement. Stacy Seichsnaydre and students from the Tulane Law Clinic assisted in representation of the individual plaintiff.

According to James Perry, GNOFHAC’s Executive Director, “Refusing housing opportunities based on race, national origin, and sex is simply illegal. We always hope that landlords’ hearts will lead them to comply with the law. But if they refuse, as in this case, we will aggressively pursue legal remedies for victims of housing discrimination.”

4-12-05 Download the press release here

Fair Housing Center Releases Bourbon Street Discrimination Audit

Posted on 04. Apr, 2005 by in 2005 News, News

On Wednesday, April 13, the Fair Housing Action Center (FHAC), along with the New
Orleans Human Relations Commission, will release the results of an investigation into discriminatory practices by Bourbon Street nightclubs and bars. FHAC paired Black and White testers, and sent them to 28 Bourbon Street nightclubs and bars within minutes of one another. FHAC compared and contrasted testers experiences to determine whether or not discrimination had occurred.

FHAC Executive Director, James Perry, has confirmed publicly that the investigation did uncover discrimination. The release of the Audit however, is the first opportunity for the public to learn of the extent of the discriminatory treatment.

James Perry, GNOFHAC Executive Director, comments, “The New Orleans community will be surprised by the results of this Study. One would think that more than 40 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination against African-Americans in public accommodations would have subsided. The Audit, however, provides concrete evidence that it has not.”

The Audit results will be released at a news conference, to be held on Wednesday, April 13, at noon at 938 Lafayette Street, in the 4th floor conference room (room 430).

4-4-05 Download the press release here

Fair Housing Center Holds 10th Annual Housing Discrimination Summit

Posted on 04. Apr, 2005 by in 2005 News, News

This year’s event commemorates the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center’s
(GNOFHAC) 10th year of fighting housing discrimination in the Greater New Orleans area. The theme is Fair Housing Boot Camp: Everything You Need to Know to Combat Housing Discrimination. The day-long event will be held at the Park Plaza Hotel (formerly the Radisson on Canal Street), located at 1500 Canal Street from 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on April 28th 2005. Guest speakers include famed jazz musician and victim of housing discrimination, Delfeayo Marsalis; noted civil rights attorney, John Relman; and nationally known architect, Phil Zook. James Perry,

GNOFHAC Executive Director, comments, “We’ve made incredible strides in the
10 years that we’ve been fighting housing discrimination, but there is still a lot of work to be done. One of the most important steps in combating housing discrimination is to educate victims about their rights and encourage them to come forward. So it’s a big deal to have someone like Delfaeyo Marsalis speak out about his experience as a victim of housing discrimination.”

Famed civil rights attorney John Relman will give the keynote address. Relman has litigated hundreds of discrimination law suits including a landmark case against Denny’s which secured $17.725 million in damages after a judgment finding that the restaurant chain engaged in a pattern of discrimination against Black patrons.

4-4-05 Download the press release here

FHAC Selects a New Executive Director

Posted on 19. Jan, 2005 by in 2005 News, News

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center announces the selection of James Perry as its new Executive Director.

Perry, a New Orleans native, is no stranger to the fair housing movement. Most recently, Perry served as Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center (GCFHC) in Gulfport Mississippi. Perry started GCFHC in 2003 with the assistance of the National Fair Housing Alliance, a million dollar grant from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and a group of concerned citizens from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Under Perry’s leadership, GCFHC achieved success by investigating complaints of housing discrimination and filing legal and administrative complaints to address housing discrimination.

Perry began his career as the first African American male employed by the Preservation Resource Center’s Operation Comeback (OC) in New Orleans, Louisiana. At OC, Perry worked to develop programs to address problems with vacant and blighted housing and designed and implemented OC’s first time homebuyer training program.

Perry comments, “There is no greater honor than the opportunity to serve the civil rights movement in my home town and state. I look forward to working to protect our citizens from housing discrimination and promote housing choice for all.”

1-19-05 Download the press release here