New Orleans Community Settles Discrimination Complaint by Domestic Violence Victim

The owners and managers of a New Orleans community recently agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) on behalf of a client who was allegedly threatened with eviction after an incidence of domestic abuse in her apartment. The complaint alleged that in December 2013, the client’s ex-boyfriend attacked her after she rebuffed his attempts to reconcile. When she returned home from the hospital the next day, she said that the apartment manager notified her that she and her toddler son must immediately vacate their apartment because of the incident.

The case became the basis for legislation that was passed by the Louisiana legislature during the 2015 session, according to the GNOFHAC. The Louisiana Violence Against Women Act, which bans housing discrimination against survivors of domestic violence, went into effect August 1st.

Editor’s Note: This month, New York State added similar protections when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation designed to further women’s equality, including a new law (S.5/A.6354-B) that prohibits landlords from discriminating against victims of domestic violence. Under current New York State law, an individual could be denied housing on the basis of his or her status as a victim of domestic violence. The new law protects victims of domestic violence from discrimination when they attempt to rent or lease housing, and provides them with an affirmative defense in eviction proceedings and a private right of action.

Sources: GNOFHAC; New York Governor’s Office