Leon N. Weiner, Legendary Housing Advocate, Dies

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In 1971 at the age of 51, Leon N. Weiner re-evaluated his work as a home builder and developer.

December 01, 2002


In 1971 at the age of 51, Leon N. Weiner re-evaluated his work as a home builder and developer. He had already achieved large measures of gravitas and success in the industry. He had served as president of the NAHB and worked on two presidential commissions on housing. He was ready for something more, he told the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal in 1993. In the end, he decided to stay in housing but devote his considerable energies to building affordable homes and apartments.

"There is no trick to building housing for the wealthy and the upper-income," Weiner said in the newspaper article. "They are strictly business deals. Low-income housing is a challenge. It provides the gratification of combining business with the social aspect."

From his base in Wilmington, Weiner, who died Nov. 19 after a short illness, developed nearly 10,000 apartments across the mid-Atlantic region, most of them affordable. He also built single-family homes, resorts and a number of mixed-used communities, all while serving as a tireless housing advocate in Washington and elsewhere.

The NAHB honored Weiner in February as the "conscience of housing in America."

"He did so much," former NAHB president Mark Tipton said. "Wherever Leon walked, he led."

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