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Honors & Awards
- Henry Duncan Award, Fayette County Bar Association, 1997
- Lexington Optimist Community Service Award, 1997
- Kentucky Housing Corporation Excellence in Housing Award, 1996
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2015 - 2017 (Real Estate Law)
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 1965
U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 1965
University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky, LL.B., Bachelor of Law, 1965
Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky, B.A., 1960
Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington , Kentucky, M.A., 1994
For more than 50 years, I have served as attorney for non-profit corporations and for profit developers throughout Kentucky that have been funded through Sections 202, 221 (d) (3), 221 (d) (4), 223 (f) and 811 Housing & Urban Development loans, United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development loans and various other funding sources and funding programs such as tax credits issued by and through Kentucky Housing Corporation to build and rehab housing for low and moderate income individuals and families. My involvement has included preparation of organizational documents for corporations (non-profit and profit), limited liability companies (non-profit and profit), and partnerships (limited partnership and limited liability limited partnership), as well as related corporate documents and advice relative to various legal corporate matters such as closings, contracts, regulatory matters, real estate matters and general legal advice. I also serve as general counsel for several non-profit corporations, and boards and commissions.
As past General Counsel and present Special Legal Counsel of the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC), I am the legal advisor to the corporation and its staff and as such provide a broad spectrum of legal services. Not only do I research and provide opinions on legal questions which arise before the Board of Directors, its Chairman, and various administrative departments within KHC that involve day-to-day operations, but I also provide services with respect to many special legal matters and specialized programs such as Recovery Kentucky and Scholar House.
As an attorney who is in a specialized area of the law, each year I am able to more easily identify issues on behalf of the client. I am able to address our client’s unique issues and specialized matters. Each client has different needs and levels of experience and it is my job to advise and navigate them to their goals. As it has become harder for individuals and families to afford the purchase of a single-family home, rental housing demands continue to rise. We need more affordable low to moderate and market-rate multi-family housing and more developers building or rehabilitating affordable and market-rate housing in order to keep the inventory growing.
During the 1980s, as affordable housing units disappeared and poverty expanded, the problem of homelessness grew, both nationally and locally, to the point that it could no longer be ignored. Something had to be done. In Lexington, the Urban County Government formed the Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness, chaired by Debra Hensley. The task force studied the problem and issued its report in October, 1990. In this report, “By and For the Community,” the task force called for the establishment of a “24-hour comprehensive service facility. The overriding philosophy of this facility should be directed at providing services to all who need them.”
That facility is the Hope Center, and I am honored to serve as Executive Director, a position I have held since October, 1995. We currently have seven buildings and sleep over 800 homeless men and women each night. In addition, we serve approximately 2,500 unduplicated clients each year. My practice and the Hope Center are one and the same. The Hope Center is affordable housing; it is completely free of expense to the client. We offer clothing, food, medical, shelter, and various rehabilitation programs. I cannot imagine using my law degree in any other way than by offering these social service programs that assist our unprivileged in the Commonwealth.
- Kentucky Bar Association, Member, 1965 - Present
- Fayette County Bar Association, Member, 1965 - Present
News & Insights
- McBrayer's 2015 Best Lawyers in AmericaU.S. News, September 1, 2014
- Cecil F. Dunn - Attorney Biography
- Kentucky Leader - Cecil F. Dunn - The Hope Center