Public housing algorithms audit

Todd Feathers filed this request with the Housing Authority Of New Orleans of New Orleans, LA.

It is a clone of this request.

Est. Completion March 20, 2023
No Responsive Documents


From: Todd Feathers

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Louisiana Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records regarding algorithmic tools used by your agency to guide decision making:

For the purposes of this request, the term algorithmic tools refers to computer software or code that employs machine learning techniques. It does not apply to other types of algorithms, such as Excel formulas.

My request applies to all algorithmic tools developed in-house by your agency, purchased for use by your agency, or otherwise used by your agency since Jan. 1, 2018. Such algorithmic tools include, but are not limited to, models for:

- Tenant screening
- Fraud detection
- Risk scoring
- Rate setting (e.g. for rent, utilities, or other fees)
- Maintenance/repair/budget allocation
- Investigations (e.g., crime hotspot prediction, facial recognition, complaint prioritization)
- Unit/voucher prioritization (e.g. models used to rank potential tenants or match them with available units)
- Advertising/outreach prioritization (e.g. models used to decide where or to which groups to advertise)

For each algorithmic tool your agency has used since Jan. 1, 2018, I request the following records:

1) Executive summaries, project overviews, or comparable records that describe the scope and purpose of the algorithmic tool.

2) Contracts, statements of work, successful RFP submissions and bid packets, or comparable records that describe the purchase and/or construction of the algorithmic tool.

3) User handbooks, guides, training manuals, agency policies, or comparable records that describe the tool’s functions and its appropriate uses.

4) The data dictionary, data library, or comparable document that defines the data fields used by the algorithmic tool.

I ask that all fees be waived as I am a journalist and intend to use the requested records to publish articles in the public interest. In the event you choose to impose fees, I request a detailed breakdown of the fees, including the hourly wage of the lowest-paid employee capable of processing the request and an explanation justifying the employee hours required to complete the request.

Should you choose to reject this request or redact portions of it, I ask that you provide a detailed breakdown of the statutory exemptions and associated case law underlying your decision to withhold each/any portion from public review.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 3 business days, as the statute requires.


Todd Feathers

From: Housing Authority Of New Orleans

Please see the attached.

  • 03.140.2023_Acknowledgement_of_Public_Records_Request.pdf

From: Housing Authority Of New Orleans

Please see the attached regarding an extension in time to produce the requested documents and/or information.

From: Housing Authority Of New Orleans

Please see the attached correspondence. Please confirm receipt thereof. I can be reached at 504-670-3440 or via email at Thank you.



  • 03/14/2023


  • 03/16/2023


  • 03/20/2023