Fair Housing Center to File Discrimination Complaint against Katrina Housing Web Sites

Date Published: 
November 17, 2005

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On November 16, 2005, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action
Center (GNOFHAC) filed a housing discrimination complaint against the Housing
Authority of New Orleans (HANO). The complaint, filed with the United States
Department of Housing and Urban Development, accuses HANO of violating a
2003 enforcement agreement entered into between former St. Thomas Housing
Development residents, the City of New Orleans, HANO, and the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development during the HOPE VI redevelopment of St.
Thomas, now known as River Garden.
The current complaints allege that HANO has not provided qualified
former St. Thomas residents a preference with respect to available public housing
units at River Garden per the 2003 agreement. Upon return to New Orleans after
the Hurricane Katrina evacuation, former residents have been informed that there
are no available public housing units at River Garden because those units have
been reserved for HANO employees. Therefore, public housing residents have
been unable to secure the units for which they qualified prior to the storm and are
left homeless, as a result.
James Perry, GNOFHAC Executive Director comments, “In the wake of
Hurricane Katrina, affordable housing in New Orleans is more scarce than ever.
As such, it is essential that HANO comply with 2003 enforcement agreement.”
The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) is a
private non-profit organization. The Center was established by a group of
concerned New Orleanians in 1995 with the help of the National Fair Housing
Alliance and a grant from the United States Department of Housing and Urban
Development. GNOFHAC is dedicated to eliminating housing discrimination and
furthering equal housing opportunities through education, outreach, advocacy, and
enforcement of fair housing laws across the metro New Orleans and Baton Rouge
areas. GNOFHAC received great notoriety recently for its investigation into
discriminatory practices by Bourbon Street nightclubs and bars.