On July 8, 2020, the City of Gretna, Louisiana adopted a moratorium on the construction of multifamily housing that may violate the Fair Housing Act. This moratorium came shortly after discussions with developers about plans to create a mixed-use development that would include 141 units of affordable and market rate rental housing on the site of a former Days Inn on Westbank Expressway.
The Fair Housing Act, passed in 1968 and amended in 1988, was meant to fight housing discrimination and segregation. The Act prohibits discrimination in the sale and rental of homes based on: race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and family status. A policy, even if it seems neutral, can still violate the Fair Housing Act if it harms people of a specific race, gender or other characteristic.
This moratorium will significantly reduce housing opportunities for renters and low-income individuals, greatly affecting African Americans who are statistically more likely to live in rental and affordable housing. This is very worrisome during the current COIVD-19 pandemic which has had a greater adverse effect on African American families. LaFHAC has drafted a letter to the City of Gretna regarding our concerns about the possible violation of the Fair Housing Act and the impact it may have on African American and low-income households.
To view the LaFHAC’s letter to the City of Gretna, please click here.