Starting in July of 2018, Eric Leabough took on the new role of Henrico County’s very first Housing Specialist and has not looked back. Leabough is no stranger to the County as he worked for Henrico 14 years ago. However, after leaving to work for the State, he is back with a passion to lead strategic efforts in addressing challenges presented by the aging housing stock in Henrico. “There is no box, lets be different and innovative,” said Leabough. His desire to affect change is evident, and his experience and background has allowed him to hit the ground running.
In a little over six months Eric has represented the County in a multitude of ways. From being a policy adviser to the County Manager surrounding affordable housing and revitalization, to representing the County on regional housing efforts, his position allows him the opportunity to facilitate interdepartmental communication as well as external partnerships. He is currently focused on recognizing the needs of our more mature areas as well as making sure we have diverse and mixed income communities to represent all of Henrico. Ensuring that owners of these mature properties have the tools they need to continue to make investments in their property so that they do not become poor living conditions for themselves or future citizens of the County is a key effort for Eric. “Giving people hope that quality housing opportunities exist is what I want to see,” said Leabough. One way has been through leveraging the tools that have already been put in place by legislative efforts. Through outreach and education Eric is already making positive strides in the Henrico community.
Not only does Eric focus on the larger picture, but on a daily basis he fields calls from citizens with landlord and tenant issues or he helps direct people to organizations who can advocate for them at any stage of the housing process. One thing Eric would like to be is a resource for anyone, employees and citizens alike, who have questions related to housing. “I may not have all the answers, but with the support of a great team, we can find the answers for you,” said Leabough.
The course ahead of Eric might look long and challenging, but if his first six months as the new Housing Specialist is any indication of what’s to come, Henrico County is in good hands.