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Since opening our doors in 1998, our local office has invested $131 million in those neighborhoods, further leveraging an additional $254 million in investment. Our work has resulted in the creation of 2,574 units of affordable housing, 355,000 square feet of commercial space, and the renovation of 9 recreational fields for youth.
Over a half a million dollars has been awarded to local nonprofits from the East Side Collaborative Fund for revitalization work in four commercial corridors on Buffalo’s East Side. Capacity building, training and other supports will be provided through the East Side Avenues program to augment the funding. The grants and supports are being provided to complement capital funding that is being awarded by Empire State Development (ESD) as part of its $65 million East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund (ESCEDF).
Thomas Wyatt, a researcher, urban planner and 2019 Rubinger Fellow from Flint, Michigan, discusses what it takes to forge cross-sector partnerships that can achieve authentic community change. A prime example: Flint’s University Avenue Corridor Coalition brought residents and institutions together to reduce a neighborhood’s entrenched blight and crime when nothing else could.
As Independence Day approaches, we at LISC are reflecting on the ideals upon which our country was founded, and what they mean to us today. Our mission, in fact, is a call to realize those ideals in their best, most inclusive sense. And that demands a dynamic, unrelenting push to close the gap between our principles as a nation and the reality in which too many Americans exist.