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Detroit (January 9, 2019) —One of the city’s top community investment organizations has fast-tracked its three-year, $75 million plan to finance housing, businesses and jobs in underserved communities so it can move forward with ambitious new goals to expand economic opportunity throughout Detroit.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) announced today that its Equitable Impact Investment Fund has met its $75 million target in half the time expected. Since it was launched last fall, it has financed more than 1,445 affordable housing units and 308,000 square feet of commercial and community space. LISC also provided more than $1 million in capacity-building grants over that time to help nonprofit partners improve family financial stability, health and safety in their communities.
Tahirih Ziegler, executive director of Detroit LISC attributed the rapid investment pace both to the large number of shovel-ready projects across the city and intense interest from investors eager to put their capital to work in Detroit’s neighborhoods.
“We are not only raising and committing more capital for Detroiters,” Ziegler said. “We are working to ensure that Detroiters—especially young people and long-time residents—are part of the growth that the city is experiencing. That means more affordable housing options, employment skills training and good jobs, as well as new businesses and amenities in neighborhoods.”
The Equitable Impact Investment Fund has leveraged more than $228 million in total development activity over the last 18 months and essentially doubled the investment activity of Detroit LISC, which has been active in city communities for nearly three decades. LISC expects to continue that ramped up pace of investment in 2019.
Upcoming investment efforts include a five-year, $125 million commitment to the City of Detroit’s new Affordable Housing Leverage Fund, which Detroit LISC will also manage. AHLF aims to preserve or construct 12,000 units of affordable housing in Detroit neighborhoods through 2023.
LISC will also continue to administer the city’s 0% Interest Home Repair Loan Program, with plans to invest $3 million in 2019 so the fund can reach more homeowners. Since 2015, the program has provided more than $7.3 million in financing to 400 homeowners, helping them raise their standards of living, while enhancing the quality of life within their neighborhoods as well.
Additional 2019 plans include:
“If we’re going to truly create inclusive communities of opportunity, we have to work on housing, safety, health, economic development and talent development all at the same time,” said Maurice A. Jones, president and CEO of LISC. “We are intentional about how and where we deploy capital; we are focused on local growth, especially in communities of color and other neighborhoods that have not fully benefited from Detroit’s downtown revitalization.”
“Detroit LISC’s work is having a measureable impact,” added Mark Stiers, president and chief operating officer of DTE Gas, and chair of the LISC Detroit Local Advisory Board. “The success in deploying these resources is a testament to LISC’s holistic strategy and decades-long commitment to catalyzing opportunity in Detroit. By investing in the infrastructure of communities and the financial stability of individuals and families, LISC contributes to equitable growth throughout our city.”
LISC, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, is a national nonprofit organization that works to strengthen neighborhoods through affordable housing, better education, health, safety and economic growth. LISC has more than 27 years of experience working as a catalyst for community reinvestment in Detroit. It helps resident-led, community-based development organizations transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy places to live, work, worship, do business and raise families. Since 1990, LISC Detroit has invested over $245 million which has leveraged over $1.2 billion in revitalization efforts in Detroit, financing the creation of over 6,200 units of affordable housing and the development of over 2.9 million square feet of commercial, retail and community space.