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On January 30th, LISC NYC was pleased to celebrate its 2018 Big Apple Innovation Awards event honoring Hope Community, Inc. with the Opportunity Builder Award for Housing and Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation with the Opportunity Builder Award for Economic Development. See photos of the event here!
Joan Tally, Executive Director, Global Sustainable Finance at Morgan Stanley and Chair of LISC NYC’s Local Advisory Committee, kicked off the night by thanking lead sponsors Monadnock Construction and Notias Construction.
LISC NYC Executive Director Sam Marks highlighted key LISC NYC accomplishments in housing and economic development in 2017. He also described how federal advocacy that LISC undertook in collaboration with partner organizations during the tax reform process helped to preserve critical tools that impact low- and moderate-income communities. These efforts were successful because they told the story of the amazing work of community development in places like New York City to lawmakers in Washington. “When LISC and our colleagues have these conversations in DC, they are representing the work that all of us in this room are doing on the ground.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer introduced our first honoree, Hope Community, Inc., celebrating the power of their Hope East of Fifth project, preserving the affordability of 506 apartments for nearly 1,000 residents across 39 buildings in East Harlem. This project was made possible by a partnership between Hope, Notias, Inc. and Monadnock Construction which LISC NYC helped facilitate.
Walter Roberts, Executive Director, accepted the award on behalf of Hope Community, acknowledging the importance of nonprofit stewardship of affordable housing, for the purposes of long-term affordable housing. “This project is symbolic of Hope Community's commitment to preserve affordable housing,” he said.
Mary Stuart Masterson introduced the next honoree, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC). Actor, filmmaker, and CEO of the Hudson Valley community development organization Stockade Works, Ms. Masterson filmed a season of the NBC show Blindspot at Steiner Stages and was struck by the range of businesses at the Navy Yard, and the diversity of people who came to work there every day. “LISC NYC and Brooklyn Navy Yard are shining examples of two organizations working toward a vision of a more inclusive city,” she said.
CEO David Ehrenberg accepted the award on behalf of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC). Mr. Ehrenberg said that BNYDC is a mission-driven landlord that seeks to create an environment where small businesses can thrive and create high-quality accessible middle-class jobs in the industrial and manufacturing fields. “It is an honor to be recognized by an organization that shares so many of our core principles,” he said.
LISC CEO Maurice Jones announced a new LISC NYC initiative called the NYC Inclusive Creative Economy Fund, which is being formed in partnership with Upstart Co-Lab, a national collaboration connecting artists with social entrepreneurs, impact investors, social enterprises, and sustainable companies. The goal is to raise $5 million in debt capital to fund loans in NYC’s creative economy, with a particular focus on creating spaces for businesses that offer quality jobs for low-income New Yorkers. He thanked ArtPlace America and Deutsche Bank for helping to incubate this idea and fund start-up costs, and provided special thanks to Citi Foundation’s Community Progress Makers Awards, which has funded the work of LISC NYC over the last two years to build pipeline, make loans, and demonstrate that LISC’s loan capital can support the inclusive creative economy.