We had the good fortune of connecting with Atticus LeBlanc and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Atticus, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My background has been in more traditional affordable housing that requires direct public subsidy. I’ve owned and managed Housing Choice rentals for more than 13 years, was an early developer with HUD’s NSP program through the City of Atlanta, and I was part of the team that just completed the Academy Lofts in Adair Park by leveraging tax credits and public bonds. I remain supportive of increasing public investment into housing opportunities, but my experience has demonstrated that these subsidized programs are simply too slow and inefficient to address the unprecedented housing shortage we face today. For example, low-income housing tax credits have been the most successful program for affordable housing creation, with over 3 million units created since 1986. But it would take 120 years and around $3 trillion in tax dollars for this program to create enough units to meet our current shortage – and that doesn’t account for the growing deficit of affordable units that increases every year.

This is why I created PadSplit. We need a “both / and” approach that aligns public and private incentives. PadSplit has created over 2,000 units in the last three years without requiring direct public subsidy by aligning incentives between housing providers that are motivated by financial performance and low-income workers seeking the most affordable option in any market. This opportunity only exists because of the wasted space in our “build environment.” Sharing the space found in existing housing stock creates opportunities for more affordability, lowers traffic, better utilities performance and environmental impact, and improves economic development for our communities. We advocate for any policies that promote shared housing and better access to opportunities. We believe the people who serve our communities deserve an opportunity to live in them.

What should our readers know about your business?
It doesn’t feel particularly original to say this, but starting a new company is certainly not easy, nor is it for the faint of heart. It is liberating, however, to know that your success or failure ultimately comes down to your own ability to adapt, or outwork, or outwit. You hit the highest highs and the lowest lows, sometimes on the same day. As a result, I’ve learned to try to keep a pretty even keel and focus on taking that next step every day, while also remembering our overall objective.

I think I’m pretty good at seeing inconsistencies and patterns, and being willing to take risks against popular opinions or traditionally accepted norms to create opportunities from those inconsistencies or patterns. In large part, I’ve had success because I’ve recognized my own patterns, strengths and weaknesses, and I’ve found amazing people who are much more capable and much smarter than me to accomplish whatever the objective happens to be.

Lessons along the way:
– The power of networking is incredible, and it compounds over time. I literally knew no one when I came to Atlanta 20 years ago. Start building a network now that aligns with whatever you’re really passionate about. If you can build a reputation as someone who is trustworthy and gets things done, you’ll find a ton of opportunities, but they probably won’t come for many years.
– It has to be fun, hopefully it’s profitable.
– There’s no reason to be unkind.

In terms of what I’d want the world to think about my personal brand, I’d just like to be remembered as someone who created opportunities for people, and empowered those folks to improve their lives through those opportunities.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love being outdoors in Atlanta, so my itinerary would involve Piedmont Park, Centennial Park, shooting the Hooch, hiking any number of trails around town. For eats and drinks, it’s hard to go wrong in any walkable neighborhood, but my go-to favorites are Leon’s Full Service & Superica, and we’d probably grab some Banh-Mis from Buford highway for lunch at least once. Definitely a couple nights around the fire in the backyard with cocktails, wine/beer as well.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Stan Sugarman Dave Payne
Michael Cohn
Kathryn Petralia

Website: https://www.padsplit.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/padsplit/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/atticus-leblanc-3960466/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/padsplit/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PadSplit/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPF7f7hLhsCyDLpelN86J2Q

Other: https://vimeo.com/282909079

Image Credits
PadSplit, Inc.

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