As we begin 2006, I am writing to ask for your support in continuing a venture that Galen Martin, my predecessor and mentor, started in 1989: the National Fair Housing Advocate. From 1989 to 2004, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funded the Kentucky Fair Housing Council to publish the Advocate as an educational tool for real estate professionals, civil rights workers, home-seekers, attorneys, and civil servants. During that time, we published more than 100 issues detailing fair housing cases and emerging legal issues in the areas of real estate, banking, and insurance. We used plain, unambiguous language in our articles, which made them useful for attorneys and non-attorneys alike.
We were forced to indefinitely suspend our publication run in December 2004, when HUD did not approve our grant application for continued funding. We received hundreds of letters, notes, e-mails, and phone calls mourning the loss of the publication, all of which we greatly appreciated. And, even though we have not published an issue in more than a year, we continue to receive faxes and mail from people throughout the United States wishing to add their names to the Advocate's subscription list.
With the help of our friends at the Tennessee Fair Housing Council (who own and operate fairhousing.com), we are relaunching the National Fair Housing Advocate as a paid-subscription service. The new Advocate will feature the same analysis of fair housing lawsuits and legal issues, but it will be a more robust publication with features, monthly case law updates, book reviews, editorial content, and practical tips for real estate professionals.
Additionally, the new Advocate will be integrated with the Tennessee Fair Housing Council's online Fair Housing Case Database, which means that the full text of legal opinions featured in the newsletter will be available simply by clicking a link or typing in a Case ID number at fairhousing.com. (See fairhousing.com for information on subscribing to the Case Database.) This new integration will be especially helpful to attorneys and their staffers engaged in fair housing litigation. With recent news that ASPEN Publishers has decided to cease publication of the FAIR HOUSING-FAIR LENDING report, we hope that our monthly case law updates in the Advocate will provide a better and paperless alternative, at a much lower price.
The new National Fair Housing Advocate will officially relaunch on February 1, 2006. To view a sample issue, point your web browser to http://www.kyfhc.org/advocate/sample.pdf. To purchase a subscription to the Advocate, see page 3 of the sample issue, or navigate to http://www.fairhousing.com/advocate.
As a former subscriber to our free service, I believe that you already know the value of the National Fair Housing Advocate. With a shrinking federal budget for fair housing programs, renewal of our free service is unlikely, and we hope that you will support us monetarily now and in the years to come. My promise to you is that we will provide the best fair housing publication possible, working toward our shared goal of eliminating housing discrimination in America.
I thank you for your time, and I look forward to listening to your feedback.
Tony Baize, Editor
National Fair Housing Advocate
P.O. Box 1293
Louisville, KY 40203