The NAACP Legal Defense Fund scored a victory Monday when Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a preliminary injunction to stop new distributions of money from the Road Home Program.
That federally funded program is intended to assist Gulf Coast residents whose homes were damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The legal fund in 2008 sued the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, alleging that the formula used to calculate payments to homeowners discriminates against blacks.
Awards are based on the lesser amount of either the cost of repairs to the home or the pre-storm value of the home. The lawsuit alleged that black homeowners are receiving smaller awards than their white counterparts based on pre-storm home values that are lower due to the legacy of racial segregation in New Orleans.