Today a federal court of appeals issued a ruling explaining its decision to set aside preliminary injunctions previously granted against the State of Louisiana regarding its administration of the Road Home program. The preliminary injunctions were granted at the request of two fair housing groups and African American homeowners in New Orleans who filed suit on behalf of families displaced in the wake of hurricanes Rita and Katrina.
The plaintiffs have argued that the formula used to award grants under the Road Home program – under which African-Americans were more likely than whites to receive grants based on pre-storm home values rather than the cost of repair – was discriminatory. Therefore, we requested and received temporary relief from the court to prevent the discriminatory effects of the formula from harming more families. Today’s decision states that we have not yet provided enough evidence to convince this court that we would ultimately prevail. However, the decision sends the case back to the lower court and gives plaintiffs the opportunity to seek additional evidence to prove their case. Thus, the case is not over and we will continue to pursue relief for the thousands of families affected.