Leah D. Vest has over 30 years of experience in community housing and economic development. Ms. Vest started her career as a trained commercial lender which provided the foundation for her community and economic development work. Since 2002, Leah, through her company Capacity Builders LLC, has provided technical assistance to community development organizations and for-profit developers who are engaged in affordable housing activities utilizing a variety of financing options, including but not limited to, HOME, CDBG and LIHTC.
Prior to this time, she served as an Executive Manager with the City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department, Housing Services Division. In this capacity, she managed all of the City’s affordable housing programs and was responsible for leading the division out of HUD oversight of the City’s CDBG and HOME programs through implementation of policies and procedures and systems redesign (1996-2002). Leah also worked with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) as a Program Officer providing technical assistance in real estate finance to build the capacity of community development organizations to engage in housing development efforts.
Leah has also worked with various economic development entities including the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Highland Park Development Corporation (HPDevco), and Wayne County Community and Economic Development Corporation on a contractual basis. Leah is an undergraduate of Michigan State University and received her MBA from Wayne State University.