William P. Wilen, recently retired as the Director of Housing Litigation for the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, has 35 years of experience in litigation and advocacy on behalf of low-income tenants and homeowners. He is one of the leading experts in the country on the rights of tenants of public housing developments during this era of demolition and relocation. He was lead attorney in Henry Horner Mothers Guild v. CHA and HUD, a landmark public housing case involving construction of new townhome units for Horner residents and contributing to the revitalization of the Near West Side of Chicago. The case is a model for fair treatment of tenants in the demolition and relocation process. He was class counsel in Wallace v. CHA, a case that challenges CHA's relocation practices, and in Jones v. Rockford Housing Authority and HUD, an individual action involving public housing demolition and relocation.
Before joining the Shriver Center in June 1996, he served for more than 23 years at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, the last 14 of which as the supervising attorney of the housing unit. He is a 1973 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and a member of the Chicago Council of Lawyers. In addition to receiving the CBF Morsch award in 2000, he has received numerous awards recognizing his long-term commitment and record of exemplary achievement in furthering housing justice for the poor: the Barbara Grau Memorial Housing Advocacy Award from the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing (November 1999); the David B. Bryson Award from the National Housing Law Project (November 2000); Chicago Magazine's One of Chicago's "30 Tough Lawyers" (April 2002); and the Northwestern University School of Law's Public Service Award (April 2004).
(Biography from Shriver Center website)