NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today marks the beginning of public hearings for the New Orleans’ City Planning Commission’s final Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) and a major step forward for persons with disabilities. The new reasonable accommodations policy ensures that all New Orleanians will be able to fully access and enjoy their housing.
A “reasonable accommodations” policy establishes a process by which people with disabilities — or housing providers for differently abled people—can make land use and design requests to the City in order to better use and access housing.
The policy provides clear guidance for both residents and the Planning Commission and is a dramatic improvement from the burdensome and often onerous nature of the process that was in place.
“The City Planning Commission should be congratulated for its commitment to ensuring that all New Orleanians could enjoy and access their home equally, with a clear and reasonable process in place to provide fairness and opportunity,” said Monika Gerhart, Policy Director at the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center.
“Not In My Backyard opposition to zoning approval for permanent supportive housing developments has curtailed New Orleans’ efforts to end homelessness,” said Alice Riener, Chief Legal Officer at CrescentCare, formerly known as the NO/AIDS Task Force. “By simplifying the process of granting supportive housing providers the permits to which they are legally entitled, more of CrescentCare’s clients will have safe, affordable places to call home over time.”
“Reasonable accommodations often make the difference between enabling long-time New Orleanians to remain in their homes and their neighborhoods,” said Susan Meyers, Attorney at the Advocacy Center. “Allowing persons with disabilities to construct a ramp or a closer parking spot if needed to make their homes accessible is the law and it is the right thing to do. Empowering the CPC to approve reasonable accommodation requests will ensure that the law is not a dead letter.”
Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) is a private nonprofit organization. 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. The activities described in this release were privately funded.
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