Rental Conditions Advocacy

Small Center’s 2016 Public Interest Design Summer Fellows worked with the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) to create graphic tools informing residents about rental housing conditions in the city in support of their efforts for greater protections.

Project Dates

May 2016–August 2016


Many New Orleans renters live in unsafe conditions which directly impact their health, productivity, and quality of life. GNOFHAC is building support for legislation for the inspection and enforcement of safe rental housing.

Small Center Engagement

Small Center collaborated with GNOFHAC to develop and test graphic materials through a series of iterations, interviews, and focus groups that identified biases in perceptions of housing conditions and renter demographics. Combining statistics on the percentage of rental housing that lacks basic plumbing or is rodent infested with narratives from GNOFHAC’s clients put a human face on the issues while providing a sense of the scale of the problem.

In supporting GNOFHAC’s advocacy work through this project, Small Center’s role was to create accurate and engaging tools that were informative and would reframe a conversation about housing by focusing on health and safety in a city where 53% of residents are renters, and have few protections or regulations for housing.

Partner Organization

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center provides comprehensive fair housing services through its enforcement, education, and homeownership protection departments. GNOFHAC is dedicated to fighting housing discrimination because it is an illegal and divisive force that perpetuates poverty, segregation, ignorance, fear and hatred.


The interactive brochure is being used by GNOFHAC for ongoing education and outreach. A parallel advocacy effort was mailed out to 4,000 households in the fall of 2016. Impacts of these efforts can be seen through a shift in media coverage of rental conditions and regulations, as well as pending legislation in New Orleans’ City Council in support of a rental registry and increased housing inspections.



  • Maxwell Ciardullo (Director of Policy & Communications)
  • Renee Corrigan (Director of Education & Outreach)

Team Members

Project Leads

  • Emilie Taylor Welty (Design Lead)
  • Alberta Wright (Project Manager)


  • Katarina Dvorak (2016 Summer PID Fellow)
  • Cassidy Rosen (2016 Summer PID Fellow)
  • Hanna Berryhill
  • Regina Davis
  • Alexander Goessler
  • Javier Gonzalez
  • Sara Harper
  • Jenny Renn Key
  • Katie Nguyen
  • Su Theng Poon
  • Aurora Smith
  • Sam Williams


  • Shoshana Gordon
  • Maggie Hansen
  • Nick Jenisch
  • Sue Mobley
  • Donn Peabody

Special Thanks

  • John Maloney (Garrity Printing)
  • Jeff Schwartz (Broad Community Connections)
  • Designers (YEP Design Works)


  • Surdna Foundation