Faculty Profile: Fred J. Fuchs
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Mr. Fuchs is an attorney and the housing group coordinator with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid where he oversees TRLA'S various housing teams. He teaches a four hour Housing Clinic each spring. Mr. Fuchs is a Vietnam-era veteran. He has won a number of national awards for his housing advocacy on behalf of his clients. National honors are the 2006 David B. Bryson Memorial Award from the Housing Justice Network and the National Housing Law Project and the 2002 Kutak-Dodds Prize from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. He was the first recipient of the State Bar of Texas J. Chrys Dougherty Award as Outstanding Legal Servies Attorney awarded by the State Bar of Texas in 1992. Other state and local awards include the 2006 Rogoff Public Interest Award from the Austin Bar Association, a 2003 Texas Houser Award from the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, a 1995 Texas Law Fellowship Award for Excellence in Public Service from Texas Law Fellowships at the University of Texas School of Law, a 1991 Austin Tenants' Council Award for Outstanding Service and a 1989 Texas Tenant's Union Award for Outstanding Service.
He has spoken extensively on federal housing programs and tenant rights at national and state seminars. He served on the two Texas Supreme Court Task Forces tasked with the responsiblity of writing the rules of procedure for home equity loan foreclosures and on the Texas Supreme Court Task Force that wrote Rule 737 on justice court repair orders. He, along with other counsel, represented the tenants in the litigation that resulted in the promulgation of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure allowing indigent persons to appeal eviction cases without posting a bond and the enactment of the Texas Property Code provision allowing tenants to appeal the issue of possession in eviction cases to the appellate courts. He has written numerous articles on the rights of tenants in federal housing programs. Most recently he contributed the following three chapters to the Poverty Law Handbook published by Texas Lawyers Care and the Poverty Law Section of the the State Bar of Texas: Defending Families and Individuals Threatened with Termination of their Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher; Forcible Detainer Lawsuits: Issues and Traps for the Unwary; and Defending Federal Housing Evictions.
He has written articles published in the Clearinghouse REVIEW Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, including an article in the September-October 2007 issue titled "Using the Reasonable Accommodation Provision of the Fair Housing Act to Prevent the Eviction of a Tenant with Disabilities" and an article in the September-October 2005 issue titled "Defending Against Eviction from Public and Federally Subsidized Housing." He was a contributing author to the 2002 Poverty Law Manual for the New Lawyer published by the National Center on Poverty Law, writing the chapter titled "Overview of Public Housing, HUD Federally Subsidized Housing, and Section 8 Housing Voucher Programs." He was a major contributing author to the third edition of chapter 14 of the National Housing Law Project's book "HUD Housing Programs: Tenants' Rights." In November 2003, the Texas Bar Journal published his article titled "Immigrants and Eligibility for HUD Housing Programs." He has also written a number of articles for "Legal Front," a publication of Texas Lawyers Care of the State Bar of Texas. He has successfully litigated many cases too numerous to list here on the rights of tenants and tenants federal housing programs. Two more recent examples with national implications are lawsuits he litigated with co-counsel, Max Renea Hicks, a private practitioner in Austin. The first was a lawsuit against HUD resulting in the issuance by HUD of Notice H-2009-13 and PIH-2009-36(HA) and HUD Form 92006 on September 15, 2009, giving every applicant for federal housing programs the right to designate a contact person to help resolve tenancy issues. The second case example is Ortega v. Housing Authority of City of Brownsville, 572 F. Supp.2d 829 (S.D. Tex. 2008), the first Fair Housing Act decision in the nation striking down the requirement of a public housing authority that grandparents with possession of grandchildren obtain a court order of custody before they could participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. He was one of two attorneys with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, representing the tenant in the appeal in Marshall v. Housing Authority of City of San Antonio, 198 S.W.3d 782 (Tex. 2006), a case with statewide import on the issue of mootness in forcible detainer lawsuits.