The Fair Housing Five

A new book for children

Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center

MissionPrograms & HistoryContact

Mission

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) is a nonprofit civil rights organization established in 1995 to eradicate housing discrimination. GNOFHAC’s work throughout Louisiana includes education, investigation and enforcement activities. GNOFHAC is dedicated to fighting housing discrimination because it is an illegal and divisive force that perpetuates poverty, segregation, ignorance, fear and hatred.

GNOFHAC is the only full service fair housing center in the state of Louisiana.

Programs & History

Enforcement:

GNOFHAC enforcement staff investigate complaints of discrimination and conduct regular audits of the greater New Orleans housing market in order to understand discriminatory trends and advocate against them. Since Katrina, GNOFHAC has produced three systemic audits of housing discrimination based on race, disability, and source of income. The organization regularly files enforcement actions against individuals and entities, including government entities, caught discriminating. GNOFHAC has filed over 20 lawsuits in state and federal court and assisted complainants in filing over 135 administrative complaints. GNOFHAC has assisted in the recovery of over $1,200,000 in monetary relief as a result of its enforcement actions. GNOFHAC has negotiated numerous consent decrees requiring housing providers to comply with fair housing laws, attend educational seminars, market their properties to protected classes, and engage in other proactive measures to ensure that housing opportunities are provided on an equal basis. Since Katrina, GNOFHAC has also led the way in filing high-impact, innovative litigation to ensure that all former residents of New Orleans who want to return home are able to do so. For example, GNOFHAC’s multi-year litigation against St. Bernard Parish has yielded a consent decree and three contempt of court findings from a federal judge that have required Parish officials to rescind exclusionary ordinances and grant building permits to affordable housing developers. GNOFHAC’s lawsuit over the discriminatory grant award calculation under the Road Home program would require HUD and the LRA to recalculate thousands of grants based on the cost of repair rather than pre-storm value. This would yield additional money for homeowners in African American neighborhoods to finally repair their houses with and return home.

Education, Outreach, and Advocacy:

GNOFHAC staff train over a thousand people every year about their fair housing rights and obligations through first time homebuyer classes, the annual Fit For a King conference, and talks with students, neighborhood associations, local officials, housing providers, and volunteers. In addition, the organization has pursued an aggressive advocacy agenda based on the findings of fair housing investigations and larger rebuilding justice issues in the wake of Gulf Coast disasters. GNOFHAC Executive Director James Perry has testified before Congress eight times about fair housing and Gulf Coast reconstruction and other GNOFHAC staff regularly testify before local and state government bodies. The Center has conducted numerous statewide and local media campaigns to inform consumers and housing professionals of their fair housing rights and responsibilities. In Fall 2010, GNOFHAC will publish The Fair Housing Five, a children’s book designed to initiate conversations between parents, caregivers, teachers and children about housing discrimination, systemic inequality, and the important role that we all have in ending both. Staff have also designed workshops and curriculum to go with the book in collaboration with children, parents, educators, and other community stakeholders.

Homeownership Protection Project:

In April 2006, GNOFHAC launched the Hurricane Relief Project, since renamed the Homeownership Protection Project (HOP), in collaboration with the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA). HOP was designed to provide assistance to homeowners affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since it inception, the HOP staff has worked to protect homeownership and help residents recover and rebuild in hurricane-impacted areas of South Louisiana and Mississippi by providing counseling, guidance, and technical assistance with recovery programs and rebuilding concerns. In 2007, GNOFHAC became a HUD certified housing counseling agency. HOP efforts have saved hundreds of homes from foreclosure, and helped many more receive fair compensation from insurance companies and government recovery programs for hurricane losses. Through careful analysis of client files, HOP staff found that there were large gaps in the amount of Road Home funding clients received based on race- this analysis initiated GNOFHAC’s 2008 Road Home lawsuit against HUD and the LRA over the discriminatory grant formula. Nearing the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and in the face of economic recession, the work of HOP has now shifted primarily to foreclosure prevention.

Contact Information

Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center
404 S. Jefferson Davis Pkwy
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 596-2100
www.gnofairhousing.org

Education Coordinator:  Renee Corrigan
rcorrigan@gnofairhousing.org