Fair Housing Legal Support Center & Clinic
A Message from Co-Executive Directors Michael Seng and F. Willis Caruso
F. Willis Caruso
Dear Friends of the Center and Clinic:
The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Support Center remains committed to its effort of offering the most current information on housing laws and enforcement. The Center, established in 1992 to educate and assist advocates of fair housing, continues to explore issues that are on the cutting-edge of civil rights.
Since 1992, the Center has offered specialized trainings and annually hosts two to three national conferences. Issues covered at recent conferences include our nation’s international obligations in housing and discrimination and the problems faced by ex-offenders in securing and maintaining housing. The Center firmly believes more attention must be focused on the interrelatedness of fair housing laws and our criminal justice system.
Years before predatory home lending entered the national news, the Center raised awareness of the issue as an aspect of fair housing through its numerous conferences. The Center subsequently established the Predatory Home Lending Law Project in 2003. The Project continues today through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as the Fair Lending Home Preservation Law Project with emphasis on students working to prevent persons from going into foreclosure or otherwise losing their homes.
In 2011 the Center developed the Fair Housing Undergraduate Internship Program that offers a select group of undergraduate students in the Chicago area an opportunity to study fair housing law. This program educates students, provides internship placements in fair housing, and raises awareness of fair housing issues with the public by required student-led presentations. The program was established through a grant from US Department of Housing and Urban Development to foster and develop the next generation of fair housing advocates.
The law school recognized a need and in 1993 established the Fair Housing Clinic under the Center. Since then the Clinic has served thousands of clients in the Chicago metropolitan area who have been denied housing because of discrimination under federal, state, and local fair housing laws and ordinances. The Clinic’s testing and investigations program is invaluable resource and assists the attorney s and student interns with case development and enforcement activities. In addition to casework, staff at the Clinic regularly schedule education and outreach presentations in an effort to raise awareness of fair housing laws and the rights of individuals under the law. The Clinic is partially funded through a grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The combined education and training initiatives of the Center complement the enforcement initiatives of The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Clinic. It is the philosophy of the Center and Clinic that this nation’s housing problems can only be met by a concerted effort to combine education with strong enforcement.