Our Stories

7.22.2019 -

Making a City Yours: The Story of Milwaukee’s ACRE Program

In 2004, Mark Eppli noticed a problem. The Marquette University professor became acutely aware of the critically low rates of people of color working in commercial real estate development in Milwaukee. Not one to walk away from a problem, he set off to find a solution with the help of Milwaukee’s community leaders, politicians and local organizations. What he built became the Associates in Commercial Real Estate, or ACRE, a program that has become a mainstay in the city. LISC’s Tope Folarin shares the story of how ACRE got started, the impact it has had in the city, and the inspiring graduates who help keep it moving forward.

Saying Yes to Affordable Housing in LA’s Backyards: Q&A with Helen Leung

Helen Leung grew up in LA's Frogtown and understands well how the affordable housing crisis has torn at the social fabric of her city. As a 2019 Rubinger Fellow and co-director of LA-Más, she's helping pilot an accessory dwelling unit project that could go a long way to addressing the housing shortage and economic disparities in LA's low-income communities and beyond.

6.26.2019 -

At NEF, Building On a ‘Legacy of Creativity and Drive’

For more than 30 years, LISC’s National Equity Fund (NEF) affiliate has been developing innovative solutions to affordable housing challenges. In a Q&A conversation with LISC, new CEO Matt Reilein takes a look at NEF’s unique value proposition, as the company looks to build on its record $1.2 billion in investments from 2018.

6.25.2019 -

LGBTQ Pride in Rural America

As our country celebrates LGBTQ pride, we're focusing on some of the challenges for LGBTQ people living in rural America. Community developers are in a key position to support LGBTQ rural residents as part of our work helping build flourishing and inclusive communities.

Harnessing Native Hawaiian Knowledge for 21st-Century Challenges: Q&A with Lahela Williams

Few people in the world of community development got their start as early in life as Lahela Williams, a 2019 Rubinger Fellow who serves as the deputy director for Hawaiian Community Assets. Williams was barely a teen when she joined the board of her homestead association, a group that promoted safety, education and other quality-of-life issues for the Native community where she grew up on the island of O’ahu. That first job helped lay the foundation of a career dedicated to nurturing Hawaiian community leadership, as well as financial and personal empowerment for her fellow islanders.