Candice Streett, executive director of LISC Virginia, has dedicated most of her working life to community development in Virginia. As she prepares to “downshift” from the position, she is being honored as a 2019 Richmond History Maker by the historic Valentine Museum, for her efforts on behalf of the city’s communities and her innovative economic development initiatives. In an interview with The Community Foundation, she reflects on the lessons from her journey. The most important one? “I’ve learned that we need to always listen first to those who have the most at stake—neighborhood residents.”
In an article for Next City, LISC’s Morgan Harper and Sara Feierstein dig into how “community ownership” acts as a stabilizing force for neighborhoods and has become an integral part of mitigating displacement. The authors look at strategies ranging from business cooperatives to CDCs pooling their resources, and underscore the findings of LISC’s latest research report about the role community land trusts play in promoting community resilience.
In a letter to the New York Times responding to an article about dwindling opportunities for low-skilled workers, Sam Marks, LISC NYC executive director, makes the case for baking equity and inclusion into economic development incentives and policies. By doing so, New York and others cities can support affordable housing and businesses that offer middle-skill jobs, and ensure that all residents benefit, regardless of their background.
LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones and Diane Yentel, CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, make the imperative case for two key housing programs in an op-ed for Affordable Housing Finance. As a new nominee is poised to take charge of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, they write, we must absolutely safeguard the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund, which have provided essential support for affordable housing creation in the midst of the affordability crisis.
In an opinion piece for the Providence Journal, LISC Rhode Island ED Jeanne Cola stresses the need for a dedicated funding stream to alleviate the state’s affordable housing gap—a gap that is widening as fewer resources are funneled to housing solutions. Without such funding, she writes, “money spent on education, workforce training and economic development will not have the impact we hope it all will.”