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Citi Foundation selects LISC NYC for a second $500,000 Community Progress Makers Fund grant

Photo by Ricky Flores, Courtesy of Ferra Designs, Inc
Photo by Ricky Flores, Courtesy of Ferra Designs, Inc

LISC NYC Selected by Citi Foundation’s Community Progress Maker Fund to accelerate economic opportunity and spur community growth in New York City

LISC NYC will help create affordable spaces for businesses that offer good jobs to New Yorkers

NEW YORK CITY (April 27, 2018)—The Citi Foundation has named LISC NYC to its elite cohort of Community Progress Makers for 2018 and awarded the social enterprise $500,000 to catalyze economic opportunity in New York City neighborhoods.

The funding is part of the $20 million Community Progress Makers Fund, a two-year initiative by the Citi Foundation to support high-impact community organizations that are bringing together residents, nonprofits, businesses, and municipal agencies to drive new economic opportunities.

LISC NYC joins a cohort of 40 organizations working in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington D.C. that were all named as 2018 Community Progress Makers. The LISC NYC grant is one of two provided to LISC local programs, with another $500,000 awarded to LISC LA.

“LISC thanks Citi Foundation for its generous investment. It will enable us to help residents get jobs, help entrepreneurs build and expand businesses, help communities attract new businesses and spur economic dynamism,” said Maurice Jones, president and CEO of LISC, which includes 32 urban program offices and a national rural community investment effort. “We are excited to work with all the members of the cohort as we help people transform their lives and communities.” 

LISC NYC will use the grant to advance its emerging strategy for inclusive economic development. That includes financing, technical assistance and thought leadership to support real estate projects focused on the needs of underserved areas, making sure critical economic, social and cultural assets can take root and thrive. LISC NYC is working with a variety of stakeholders in this effort, including impact investors from artist-endowed foundations and civic-minded individuals who are being engaged for LISC’s new Inclusive Creative Economy Fund. LISC NYC is also working with government partners to strengthen the policy and subsidy environment for this work.

It is the second Community Progress Makers grant for LISC NYC, and the latest chapter in its decades-long support for affordable housing, healthy neighborhoods, and economic opportunity.

“Although New York City’s economy is booming, not everyone is sharing in the prosperity that comes with growth, and many residents remain disconnected from job opportunities that provide economic mobility,” noted Sam Marks, executive director of LISC NYC. “To build a more inclusive and equitable city, LISC NYC will use its expertise as a lender, capital provider, and thought leader to create affordable spaces for businesses that offer good, middle-skill jobs to New Yorkers seeking economic opportunity.”

The Community Progress Makers funding is building on the success of the program’s initial cohort in 2016-2017.  The inaugural cohort helped more than 14,700 low-income people secure financial assets; build more than 10,500 affordable housing units; strengthen more than 1,100 small businesses; and connect 1,800 young people to jobs in their communities.

“We launched this program in 2015 as our version of ‘venture philanthropy’ – a chance to invest in the vision and mission of these organizations who are helping positively transform their communities,” said Brandee McHale, president of the Citi Foundation. “We’re pleased with the results from our inaugural Community Progress Makers and are looking forward to implementing the lessons we’ve learned with this next, impressive group of community leaders as they scale, innovate and drive impact.”

View Citi Foundation’s announcement for more on the 2018 Community Progress Makers.

About LISC

With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested more than $18 billion to build or rehab 376,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 63 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. In New York, LISC NYC has invested over $2.7 billion, leveraging an additional $6 billion to revitalize communities. This has resulted in nearly 40,000 affordable homes built and preserved as well as 1.8 million square feet of retail and community space created. For more, visit www.lisc.org.

About Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.

Learn more about LISC NYC's impact development program.