David Leopold recently joined Berkadia as Senior Vice President and Head of Affordable Housing. He’ll lead Berkadia’s Affordable Housing team, a national platform that provides mortgage banking, investment sales and tax credit syndication services.
David joins Berkadia from Freddie Mac, where he most recently served as Vice President for Targeted Affordable Sales and Investments for the multifamily business. During his tenure, David successfully grew the agency’s annual affordable housing production from just over $2 billion in 2014 to about $9 billion in 2019.
We sat with David to discuss his passion for affordable housing, his observations about the industry’s future, and what drew him to Berkadia.
What attracted you to affordable housing?
I’ve dedicated my career to advancing affordable housing. First, it is vital to have decent, affordable and safe housing in every single community across the country. Second, the affordable housing industry is ever evolving. There are always new opportunities for innovation and always needs to be fulfilled.
What are the biggest opportunities in the affordable housing landscape?
There’s a massive demand for affordable housing nationwide. In fact, in 2017, 26 percent of Americans across every tax bracket were rent burdened as the gap between median gross rent and median household income has widened dramatically in the last decade.
While the need for affordable housing is apparent, the sector is complicated and perceived as risky. Affordable housing requires significant technical expertise to understand all the nuances—public policy, tax exempt finance, etc.—that influence its execution. There is a tremendous need for best-in-class technical advice and expertise to support developers, investors, and operators to dissect the complexities of the space and find opportunities to create value.
“It is vital to have decent, affordable and safe housing in every single community across the country.” – David Leopold
What brought you to Berkadia?
This is an exciting new opportunity at Berkadia, with a growing team and new investment, to tackle the affordable housing crisis head on and make a significant impact by integrating mortgage banking, investment sales and tax credit syndication.
Berkadia is a leader in multifamily housing and has been pursuing an aggressive growth strategy in the affordable housing space. There is a great team in place, which we can leverage and build upon to continue to lead the market in investment in people, technology and financial products.
I was fortunate to work with an extremely talented team in a great culture during my time at Freddie Mac, so I look forward to continuing to work in a field I’m passionate about, with people who are just as driven, talented, and committed to helping clients build strong communities.
What are your goals for Berkadia’s Affordable Housing platform?
Client service will continue to be at the forefront of all that we do. We look forward to supporting our clients and their goals as they provide critical resources to the communities they serve.
In the years ahead, I look forward to further developing the best affordable housing platform in the business. We’re expanding Berkadia’s mortgage banking, investment sales and tax credit solution services. Integration of these resources and our expertise will allow Berkadia to add value for our clients as they improve communities across the country.