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Fair Housing Case Settles: Landlords Use Racial Epithets, Discriminate Against Minorities

Posted on 05. Nov, 2015 by

New Orleans- Today, a federal court entered a consent judgment resolving a lawsuit that the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) had filed against landlords Brion, Jappy and John Ebey, Jr., and Lime Investment Company.  The suit alleged that the defendants violated the federal Fair Housing Act by engaging in a pattern of racial discrimination in the rental of an apartment in Metairie, Louisiana. The suit alleged that defendants denied both GNOFHAC clients and GNOFHAC mystery shoppers the opportunity to rent.  Further, the suit alleged that the defendants kept a written record studded with racist slurs and epithets based on interactions with prospective renters, including GNOFHAC testers.  As a result of the settlement, the defendants will pay $172,500 in damages.

In response to suspected discrimination at the apartment, GNOFHAC conducted an undercover investigation of the housing providers’ rental practices and discovered the alleged discrimination.  The complaint alleged that the defendants repeatedly misrepresented the availability of advertised rental property to African Americans because of their race, refused to rent to African Americans, and, most egregiously, kept a handwritten list of prospective tenants, upon which were written various notations, including racial epithets. GNOFHAC sent trained mystery shoppers posing as apartment seekers to inquire about the property’s availability on seven different occasions.  The investigation uncovered that each time an African American mystery shopper contacted the Ebeys about the apartment, a hand notation with the “n- word” was written next to the prospective renter’s name on a handwritten list.  Further, GNOFHAC’s African American mystery shoppers who inquired were not shown the apartment, while GNOFHAC’s white mystery shoppers were.

In addition to paying damages, the consent judgment requires that for a period of five years, the Ebeys:

  • Keep and provide detailed records of prospective tenants seeking housing;
  • Provide GNOFHAC with semi-annual reports on Lime Investment Company rental applications and lease agreements;
  • Adopt and adhere to a written rental policy and a non-discrimination policy;
  • Provide all current and prospective tenants with a “know your fair housing rights” brochure; and
  • Receive fair housing training.

Cashauna Hill, GNOFHAC Executive Director, comments, “Racial discrimination in housing is illegal and unacceptable. Our investigations uncovered clear evidence of egregious and blatant discrimination against prospective African American tenants, solely on the basis of their race. These kinds of discriminatory practices persist in our area’s rental markets, and we encourage anyone who suspects they may have been discriminated against while trying to rent a home to report their suspicions to the Fair Housing Action Center.”

Two Down, Four to Go: City Council Passes Policies to Slow Gentrification

Posted on 30. Oct, 2015 by

The New Orleans City Council made great strides in the past four months to pass two out of six policies to slow gentrification and protect long-term residents from displacement.

Still, there is far more to do as housing prices continue to rapidly increase. It will take a host of solutions to ensure the people who have made our city great for generations are not priced out.

Here are the four remaining ideas and the two that City Council already adopted.


HANO’s Mazant-Royal property in the Bywater. Source: HANO

1. Make the best use of publicly owned properties in low-poverty neighborhoods.
With 3,000 city-owned lots up for auction and 233 HANO properties, we can do far more to hold some public land for affordable housing in quickly transitioning neighborhoods. Read More…

A Win for our City: City Council Passes Housing Trust Fund Reforms

Posted on 15. Oct, 2015 by

Thanks to all of your advocacy and hard work, the New Orleans City Council unanimously passed reforms to our city housing trust fund. The newly reformed Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund (NHIF) will put another important tool in our toolbox to create or repair housing that is affordable to New Orleans families.

Councilmember LaToya Cantrell championed this essential legislation to ensure these scarce housing funds were best utilized to expand housing opportunity throughout New Orleans. Thanks to your support of her efforts, we are one step closer to addressing the growing housing affordability crisis in our city that makes it harder for musicians, culture bearers, and long-time residents to afford a place to call home.

It’s clear from this unanimous vote that city leaders are taking notice.

November 7: Run and Walk on Team Fair Housing in City Park

Posted on 07. Oct, 2015 by

Join GNOFHAC staff and friends as we walk and run for Fair Housing in the Crescent City Fall Classic 5k (3.1 miles) on Saturday, November 7!


Team Fair Housing: Fall Classic 2013

Read More…

Six Ways to Slow Gentrification in New Orleans

Posted on 30. Jul, 2015 by

Housing prices are increasing rapidly, threatening to price out many long-term residents who have made this city great for generations.

Can New Orleans change course? Here are our ideas for six solutions. What are yours?


HANO’s Mazant-Royal property in the Bywater. Source: HANO

1. Make the best use of publicly owned properties in low-poverty neighborhoods.
It’s time to be smart and targeted in how we use our remaining blighted lots. Read More…

What SB 174 Means for You

Posted on 30. Jun, 2015 by


The Louisiana Violence Against Women Act, or Senate Bill 174, will become law on August 1st, 2015. This bill was created through collaboration among housing advocates, domestic violence service providers and housing providers who believe that survivors should never have to choose between safety from abuse and a safe place to live. We look forward to continuing our partnerships in order to ensure that these protections are properly implemented.

Here are the four key provisions of the law: Read More…

Black Women & Housing in New Orleans

Posted on 29. Jun, 2015 by

On June 18, Cashauna Hill, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Action Center, spoke at Breaking the Silence: A Town Hall Meeting on Women of Color in New Orleans. Her testimony highlights the profound implications of housing instability for one of New Orleans’ most vulnerable populations: African-American women.

Read More…

Louisiana’s Violence Against Women Act: Keep the Momentum Going!

Posted on 25. Jun, 2015 by

How your support keeps survivors in their homes:

Woman$10 pays for Facebook advertising to reach more survivors with vital information about their housing rights.

$25 puts information about housing rights under SB 174 in five domestic violence shelters.

$50 covers an in-person investigation of a wrongful eviction of a survivor.

$100 sends housing advocates across the state so they can directly reach women who are protected by this law.

$250 pays for a mailing to send vital information to survivors about their rights under SB 174 before they need it. Read More…

SB 174: It’s time for Phase Two.

Posted on 25. Jun, 2015 by

SB 174, Louisiana’s Violence Against Women Act, becomes law on August 1!  Woohoo!

…Now what? Read More…

A Quick Guide to SB 174: The Louisiana Violence Against Women Act

Posted on 25. Jun, 2015 by

• 75% of homeless adults in Louisiana report being victims of domestic violence.

• One of the largest challenges facing survivors is finding and keeping safe, 
stable housing.

• Nearly 1 in 3 residents in Louisiana domestic violence shelters reported being evicted because of the actions of their abusers.

The Louisiana Violence Against Women Act, or Senate Bill 174, will become law on August 1st, 2015. Read More…