Jessica Guinn Johnson serves as Executive Counsel for the Louisiana Housing Corporation, where she is part of a team of housing professionals dedicated to ensuring that every Louisiana resident has the opportunity to obtain safe, affordable, energy efficient housing. This mission is achieved through the allocation of federal state funds to help low-to-moderate income citizens make their housing dreams a reality. As Executive Counsel, Jessica directs the LHC’s legal, asset management, compliance, environmental review, and internal audit departments. She also provides counsel to the LHC Board of Directors, as well as the Corporation’s programmatic and executive staff.
Jessica joined the Louisiana Housing Corporation (formerly known as the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency) in 2010 as an Attorney and Fair Housing Coordinator in the Legal Department. In her role as Fair Housing Coordinator, Jessica worked to ensure that the LHC met its goal of making housing opportunities available to citizens throughout the state without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. She led the LHC’s fortified focus on fair housing by educating the public about their fair housing rights, informing housing providers about how their actions are affected by the law, and working cooperatively with the affordable housing community to make certain that the policies and practices of the LHC best met the needs of the citizens of Louisiana as they relate to the provision of housing opportunities on an equal basis.
Jessica served as the Section Chief of the Equal Housing Opportunity Section of the Public Protection Division at the Louisiana Office of the Attorney General from April 2016 through May 2017 when she departed to return to the LHC as Executive Counsel. In her role as Section Chief, Jessica was responsible for the administration of Louisiana’s fair housing laws. During her tenure, the section increased the processing of its housing discrimination complaints by more than fifty percent, resulting in an increase in the total administrative funds available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for further investigation and outreach.
Jessica earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Southern University and A&M College. She later earned a Juris Doctor from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, and began her legal career in the private sector as an associate at a boutique law firm specializing in civil defense litigation, including toxic torts, insurance, and railroad defense. Although her time in the private sector afforded her with invaluable opportunities not often available to young associates, her desire to use her legal career to make a difference led her to switch gears and focus on developing a career in public service.
Jessica is an active member of several professional and civic organizations, including the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Baton Rouge Bar Association, the Southern University Alumni Federation, the 1880 Society, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She currently serves as the Public Affairs Liaison for the Junior League of Baton Rouge where she is responsible for planning the annual “League Day at the Capitol”, promoting awareness and interest in the community to the members of the Junior League, as well as educating elected officials on the platform and collective impact of the organization. She also proudly serves as a member of the Board of Directors of O’Brien House, a treatment and recovery center dedicated to stabilizing the lives of its clients and preparing them for a new life as recovering alcoholics and addicts. She is also a member of Greater New Guide Baptist Church where she serves as Chairperson of the Public Relations Committee and as a Sunday school teacher and Assistant Superintendent of the Sunday School Department. She is also works on the Personnel Committee, the Courtesy Guild, and the Media Ministry at her church.
Jessica is a native of Baton Rouge and is proud to call Louisiana her home. Her passions include reading, cooking, and cheering on the Southern University Jaguar football team. She also loves to write and frequently pens speeches, letters, and other writings on behalf of her colleagues and friends, and is currently developing a concept for a novel loosely based on stories passed down through generations of her family.