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2014 Legislative Session Wrap Up

Posted on 05. Jun, 2014 by in 2014 News, Blog, News, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Statements, Policy Updates, Uncategorized

Crop State CapThe 2014 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature wrapped last week. GNOFHAC fought vigorously to pass legislation that would expand fair housing protections to the LGBT community and victims of domestic violence, enrolling the support of over 50 organizations statewide, dozens of legislators, and hundreds of individual supporters.

Ultimately, too many Louisiana legislators bowed to hate speech from gay rights opponents and caved in to pressure from the landlord lobby instead of voting to protect domestic violence victims. Proposed legislation was ultimately not passed this year.

However, the outpouring of support from concerned citizens contributed to a gain in new legislative champions and bill sponsors, increased fair housing education amongst legislators, and helped us build strength in a tough environment. We are inspired by the incredible support and excited about the vital connections we built with legislators and partners that will make our chances of success even greater when we return to the Capitol next year.

Thank you for supporting our work by signing petitions, making donations, sending letters to your legislators, and speaking up on behalf of those who need your help the most. Advocates for justice across the state fought some really tough battles this session, but we’ll be back next year. Stay tuned because we’ll need your help again!

Louisiana House of Representatives Votes Against Victims of Domestic Violence

Posted on 29. May, 2014 by in 2014 News, Blog, News, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Statements, Policy Updates

On Thursday, May 29, the Louisiana House of Representatives failed to pass Senate Bill 233 by a vote of 34-63.  SB233 would have provided housing protections to victims of domestic violence.   The bill passed unanimously through a Senate Committee, the Senate Floor, and a House Committee.

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) joined 42 organizations statewide in supporting the leadership of Senate President Pro Tem Sharon Weston Broome to promote better housing options for victims of domestic violence without imposing an undue burden on landlords.  Representative Helena Moreno carried the bill in the House as part of a larger package of successful legislation aimed at enhancing protections for victims of domestic violence.  Speaker Pro Tem Leger and Rep Moreno demonstrated tremendous leadership in skillfully managing over an hour of floor debate. Read More…

The choice to protect domestic violence victims is simple

Posted on 28. May, 2014 by in Actions, Blog, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Statements, Policy Updates

Used and abused; domestic violence conceptWe have a client right now who was evicted from her apartment literally because her ex-boyfriend showed up uninvited and brutalized her to the point of hospitalization. So we’ve pulled out all the stops in order to get state law changed so that this never happens to another woman in Louisiana.

TAKE ACTION NOW! Read More…

Urge Your Legislator to Support Expansion of the Louisiana Equal Housing Act

Posted on 27. Mar, 2014 by in 2014 News, Actions, News, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Statements, Policy Updates, Uncategorized

Everyone in Louisiana deserves a fair opportunity to find a place to call home. The Louisiana State Legislative session just started last week, and we’re committed to making sure that state laws promote equal housing opportunity! GNOFHAC is working with a broad coalition of partners to expand housing choice for all Louisiana residents.

One crucial part of our full legislative  agenda is equal housing protections for Louisianans regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. Currently in Louisiana, it is legal for landlords to discriminate against LGBT people. Will you take the first step with us in asking the Legislature to right that wrong?

Please take a moment right now to send an email to Louisiana House Commerce Committee Members, and ask them to expand housing choice for people on the basis of sexual orientation, gender expression, and marital status.

Have you experienced discrimination in housing on the basis of your sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status? Please consider sharing your experience with us so that we can make sure state legislators fully understand the impacts that housing discrimination has on their constituents.

Download the LGBT housing rights fact sheet here, then support and send a message to legislators to expand these rights statewide!

P.S. Do you know anyone that has experienced housing discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status? Please encourage them to share their stories with us too!

At Large Candidates Take a Stand on Rental Housing Conditions

Posted on 19. Feb, 2014 by in 2014 News, Blog, News, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Statements, Policy Updates

This year, GNOFHAC’s annual Fit for King event featured a forum with New Orleans City Council at-large candidates. The forum highlighted the need for policies to increase habitable, safe rental housing, with strong statements of leadership from candidates in both Divisions One and Two.

According to Councilwoman Hedge-Morrell, incumbent for District D and candidate at-large in Division Two, New Orleans is made up of a majority of renters, who are suffering from the blight of substandard housing. Councilwoman Hedge-Morrell called out absentee landlords that failed to maintain property. The Councilwoman also noted many rentals had fallen into disrepair in the aftermath of Katrina, and that the Road Home program’s “Small Rental Repair Program” overlooked many. Hedge-Morrell noted the need to beef up code enforcement to reach a standard of habitability, while providing funding streams for landlords trying to do the right thing.

Read More…

UPDATE: Vice President, Rep. Cantor Working to Reauthorize VAWA

Posted on 11. Dec, 2012 by in Blog, Policy Statements, Policy Updates

Last spring we posted a piece about the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), its importance for New Orleans, and the need for Congress to reauthorize the bill.

VAWA hasn’t historically been a controversial bill, but when this Congress failed to reauthorize it, it expired in September of 2011, taking with it important legal protections for survivors of domestic violence.  Read More…