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photo_2 (WWNO) – The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center was established in 1995 to eradicate housing discrimination in the Greater New Orleans area through education, investigation and enforcement. The Center is dedicated to fighting housing discrimination not only because it is illegal, but also because it is a divisive force that perpetuates poverty, segregation, ignorance, fear and hatred.

“So has anyone heard of steering?” asks Renee Corrigan at a first-time home buyers class she is teaching.

“It’s when they steer you toward something they say you should have, in opposition to what you tell them you want,” offers a class participant.

“Yeah, absolutely,” replies Corrigan. “It’s just like it sounds. You’re being steered to one set of options or opportunities and not another. There was a national fair housing study that found that 87 percent of time, real estate professionals engage in steering. Do you think there’s necessarily an intent to discriminate?”

“Yeah, cause they’re trying to tell you how to spend your money,” offers another participant.

“Often there may be an intent,” affirms Corrigan. “Sometimes, you know, it’s the job of the realtor to kind of guess what you want and make you happy. They want to find a home they think is perfect for you.” But, says Corrigan: “Even if there’s good intentions behind it, if that realtor is making assumptions, then that limits your choices and may be a violation of the Fair Housing Act.”

Read the full story here.

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