Our Initiatives


Celia Smoot, Director of Housing

Celia joined LISC as a senior program officer in 2009. She provides technical assistance to nonprofit organizations that manage and operate subsidized affordable multifamily housing. Celia has a real estate financing background, specializing in affordable housing and community development. Prior to joining LISC, she was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with Hessel, Aluise, and Neun, P.C., a national law firm with an affordable housing focus, and with Kutak Rock, LLP, a tax credit practice. She received a J.D. from George Washington University and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Christopher McKenzie, Assistant Program Officer

Christopher supports our affordable housing initiatives with technical assistance for the federal neighborhood stabilization program and in administering the CDFI financial assistance award. He also works to ensure that sustainable “green" practices are woven into the fabric of LISC Housing’s programs. Christopher holds a bachelor’s from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in urban policy analysis and management from the New School. When he is not championing the needs of disinvested communities, you can find Chris hitting the roads for long runs, playing hockey or trying new beers.

Matthew Leber, Program Officer

Matthew has been with LISC since 2010 and prior to joining the Housing team, worked on lending and project management as a community development officer for NYC LISC. His strategic focus also included the New Market Tax Credits program, statewide affordable housing preservation programs and homeownership/foreclosure issues. Matthew also provided loans, technical assistance and project management capacity to nonprofits in Buffalo and throughout New York State, working out of LISC’s Buffalo office. Prior to joining LISC, he worked at HSBC Bank. He studied political science at the University at Buffalo, and credit and risk analysis at New York University.

Gabrielle Sallows, Technical Assistant

Gabrielle supports the LISC Housing team by providing mapping work for LISC offices nationwide, as well with general technical assistance. She is an M.S. candidate at Pratt Institute’s City and Regional Planning program and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University at Buffalo.