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In Memory of Otto Hetzel

Otto Hetzel, an esteemed lawyer who once served in HUD’s Office of General Counsel, passed away on January 26. Hetzel was 86 years old.

Hetzel was an attorney in the Washington, DC area with a legal and consulting practice for local government entities and private sector clients. He was also a Professor of Law Emeritus at Wayne State University Law School. During a lengthy and successful career, he served as a Deputy Attorney General of the State of California and Associate General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing Development. He played an active role in civil rights matters, having helped draft and enact the 1968 Fair Housing law, and frequently provided training on civil rights issues.

“I first got to know Otto when we both served on the Housing and Development Reporter Advisory Board,” said PHADA Executive Director Tim Kaiser. “He was a well-respected and liked professional who was truly dedicated to the mission of our programs,” added Kaiser, noting that PHADA and some individual members had relied on his counsel over many years. PHADA’s director pointed out that Hetzel was involved in research for the successful litigation that PHADA and others instituted against HUD regarding the operating reserves offset.

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