Debbie Kleban


Debbie Kleban

Commitment to Clients and Community

I love working collaboratively with my colleagues and our clients.  I have been fortunate in my career to have incredible clients and co-workers and to have developed other strong industry relationships that are true partnerships and teams working together toward a shared vision and goal.  I enjoy the daily challenge of creative problem-solving and of balancing the delivery of expert counsel, guidance, and education, with materiality and the desire to see as much financial benefit delivered to each project and community as possible.  Ultimately, what inspires me are the projects and the impacts they have on communities.

Since 1998, I’ve been involved in various roles with Deborah’s Place, the largest provider of housing and supportive services for women in Chicago who are homeless or formerly homeless. I’ve contributed time as a Board President, volunteer, fundraiser, committee member and am currently a member of the President Circle and vice president of 2 subsidiary ownership entity boards.

Career Overview

Current Focus:  I established and currently lead our firm’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) team, which includes attorneys and paralegals whose sole or primary focus is representing QALICBs (borrowers), NMTC investors and CDEs (lenders) in connection with projects and businesses being financed utilizing NMTC allocation.

Highlights: I’m a founding member of Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen. After a 10+ year primary focus on affordable housing development and financing, I shifted my focus to New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing, but continue to keep the pulse of the housing finance world.  Prior to this firm’s founding, I was an associate at Schiff Hardin and focused on real estate and estate planning work.

Professional Affiliations

Member, New Markets Tax Credit Coalition

Member, Novogradac New Markets Tax Credit Working Group

American Bar Association

  • Member, Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law
  • Member, New Markets Tax Credit Counsel

Member, Illinois Housing Council

…by the way, you are a stellar attorney. I have had the opportunity to work with attorneys from the best firms all over the country. You are truly among the best and I say so very sincerely, not being one to proffer compliments gratuitously. Thank you for guiding us through your world so deftly!


Our attorneys have a passion for helping our clients reclaim and re-invigorate neighborhoods and cities. We represent developers, tax credit syndicators, investors, tax-exempt community development organizations and public housing authorities. They trust us to get the job done–please come talk with us to learn why you should too.

Let’s Work Together