Over the past few decades, the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) has increasingly used its discretion to deny housing. The rampant denials helped popularize a myth that all people with criminal records are legally banned from public housing, leading many to stop applying for housing support. By 2013, the people of New Orleans began pushing back to reunite their families.
SIgn the petition to create an inclusive public housing policy!
Click Here to Sign the Petition:
We, the undersigned, call on HANO to: (1) pass the proposed policy, allowing families to be reunited when living in public housing or receiving vouchers and (2) make changes proposed by community members, making the criminal background policy mandatory on all owners and managers of public housing, granting HANO ultimate authority over 3rd party managers’ decisions to deny people housing, and requiring public reporting of all denials.
Affordable housing is a struggle for all people in New Orleans. However, communities of Color are hit hardest by the choice to invest in police, prosecutors and prisons rather than schools, jobs, and health care. We call on HANO to be part of the cultural shift to unify and elevate our city.
Unfortunately the waiting lists for public housing and vouchers are in the tens of thousands, in a city that has the highest percentage of personal income going to housing. It may be convenient for HANO that some people don't even try getting on the waiting list, as that would only put more pressure on them to, in turn, pressure the government for additional support. However, that convenience comes at a cost to our city, where tens of thousands of people are living in New Orleans with criminal records. People cannot be simply kicked down the river, and we will all sink or swim together.
Find out more about the struggle to end divisive public housing in New Orleans and nationally.
- HANO's proposed criminal background screening procedures
- HANO's public notice announcement, and how to submit testimony
- "Communities, Evictions, and Criminal Convictions" - VOTE's public housing policy report and legal analysis for the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People and Families Movement
- "Who Pays: The True Cost of Incarceration on Families" - a report by the Ella Baker Center, including New Orleans community partners (VOTE, FFLIC, and Breakout)
- "HANO unveils proposed rules on admitting tenants with criminal records," The Advocate, March 6, 2016
- The Times Picayune coverage of the 2013 standing room only hearing to kickstart this campaign