(504) 524-5533
December 31, 2017

2017 Accomplishments with Board President Gizelle Johnson-Banks

Board President Gizelle Johnson-Banks - Finance Authority of New Orleans

Board President Gizelle Johnson-Banks
Vice President of Finance, Urban League of Greater New Orleans


What have been the biggest highlights and or accomplishments of 2017 for the Finance Authority of New Orleans?

Over the past year, the Finance Authority of New Orleans, board and staff under the leadership of our Executive Director Damon Burns, has worked conscientiously to REBRAND, REVITALIZE and REINVENT itself in 2017. The work has been consistent and at times difficult and has taken the dedication of the entire team in bringing forth the following highlights and accomplishments:

REBRANDING – FANO has launched a successful rebranding campaign that has included a new logo, bold new colors an updated mission to improve the quality of life in the city of New Orleans by directly investing in the creation of affordable housing and economic development projects that produce quality jobs and wealth for residents. The rebranding campaign included a launch at the New Orleans Jazz Market that drew New Orleans citizens, City leaders, realtors, lenders, developers and many of our partners in the housing arena.

REVITALIZATION – FANO has revitalized its Partnerships with the City of New Orleans, Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO), New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), and a number of diverse organizations, neighborhoods and agencies across the city including, The Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance (GNHOA), Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS), Neighborhood Development Foundation (NDF) and many others.

REINVENTION – In 2017 FANO has reinvented its signature homebuyer program, rebranded, “Own New Orleans”, that allows homebuyers to acquire downpayment assistance on 1 or 2 unit, single family homes. We are also developing new initiatives with our partners and the City’s Office of Resilience, while we continue to reinvent our longstanding programs to ensure that our mission is fully realized.


As the board president, how have you seen FANO be a benefit to the community and the people it serves?

FANO continues to be a staple in the New Orleans community for first-time homebuyers. We foster our commitment to community through direct investment in homeownership programs and working with our partners to ensure all communities move toward prosperity. We believe that every New Orleanian should have access to affordable homeownership and our programs are being designed to address this pressing need in our neighborhoods. Citizens are also able to access credit counseling and homebuyer education through our partnership with the Louisiana Homebuyer Education Collaborative, which helps to foster success in maintaining homeownership and establishing stable neighborhoods.


What are FANO and its board proposing to accomplish in the coming year?

FANO, through its Board of Directors and Executive Director, will continue in vision setting and helping to build partnerships so that we can fulfill our mission for all of the citizens in New Orleans. We will work our strategic plan by focusing on our short term goals, one being diversification of our business portfolio and income streams. Over the past few years, many homes, roads, schools, and hospitals have been rebuilt and increased commercial development has happened across the City. It is our goal to have FANO represented in this continuing economic development in 2018. Lastly, 2018 will mark 40 years of existence in the New Orleans Community. In April of 2018, FANO will also host the National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies annual conference here in our great city. We look forward to displaying the work that FANO has done over the past year and continuing that momentum into 2018 and the next 40 years.

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