Art Hessel


Changing Times in Housing Development

Ep. 33 - Art Hessel shares his career in the housing sector both working for the government and representing clients as an attorney and how housing development has changed over time. You will also hear important tips that you need to keep in mind when pursuing a career in law.

Top Takeaways:

    • The reasons why high-rise housing projects failed
    • How the public policy failed when it came to affordable housing
    • How he handled difficult housing cases that came his way
    • The importance of leading an integrity-filled career
    • The problems facing the future of affordable housing in America

Listen in to learn the importance of leading a career filled with integrity even in a tempting profession as law.


"If you're going to become a lawyer go in at the ground level where you can get the courtroom experience or you can get some experience in a variety of fields."


Art Hessel is the founding member of the firm Hessel Aluise and Neun which specializes in real estate, construction, and affordable housing. He retired in 2011 but when he was there, he represented clients whose real estate activities involved federal, state, and local government bodies.

During his years in practice, Art's work always centered on real estate law and on matters involving government assisted housing and development programs. Before becoming a practicing attorney, Art worked both for a local urban development agency in St. Louis, Missouri and for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Art spent more than four decades practicing law in Washington DC where he was largely involved with housing clients and working for the Federal government. He shares how he reviewed urban renewal plans when slums were being torn down and the land was being cleared and sold for redevelopment. He describes why the family high-rise housing project in New York failed in the 20th century. He talks about the challenges that existed in the affordable housing sector back then and the ones that exist today. He now sells quality and rare used books.

Learn why Arthur's greatest achievement was being able to recognize right from wrong in his career.

Key Moments:

He shares his experiencing working in the housing sector for the federal, state, and local government bodies [2:22]

He talks about the main things he worked on at HUD 45 years ago [5:02]

The terrible high-rise housing that failed in the 1950s and 60s and why they did [9:04]

How public policy worked back in the day when he was involved in the system and the problems involved with it [13:04]

He describes his biggest achievement as when he preserved a client's ability to stay in business after being attacked [19:18]

His legacy is his ability to represent clients with integrity and passing on his skills and knowledge to other lawyers [24:37]

He describes the future of affordable housing and the hindrances that exist in making it a reality [25:46]

The do's and the don'ts if you want to a become lawyer [29:23]

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