Last month, LISC became the first-ever CDFI to make an S&P-rated bond offering—$100 million worth—to help bring capital to low-income communities. It completely sold out and was, in fact, oversubscribed. Now, a second CDFI, The Reinvestment Fund, has offered $50 million worth of bonds of their own. In an article for ImpactAlpha, Oscar Perry Abello examines how the brave new world of private-capital bonds could change financing for projects in underinvested places.
Yohannes Kassaye is a client of JVS (Jewish Vocational Services) in Boston, whose Bridges to College and Careers Pathways program helps topple barriers to employment for low- and moderate-income residents. This free 23-week college prep program segues into a professional curriculum at community colleges that prepares people to work in growth industries short on talent. LISC has committed $675,00 over three years for the JVS Bridges initiative. Kassaye, a native of Ethiopia, describes how the program helped him realize a dream of working in science and health—and how doors keep on opening.
For the first time in its history—and the first time ever for a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)—LISC is tapping the bond market to raise $100 million in capital that it will use to help energize local economies. “This new capital will not only help us fuel businesses, jobs and large-scale redevelopment efforts, but also help address the persistent social and economic challenges preventing people from maximizing economic opportunities," says LISC CEO Maurice Jones. The bond offering received a 'AA' rating from Standard & Poor’s.
On March 22nd, in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice, LISC hosted a dialogue about successful strategies for helping communities that struggle with high rates of crime get on a path to safety and economic opportunity. In the weeks prior to the event, we shared research, blog posts and videos that showcase the work of the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program in three communities across the U.S.
Maurice Jones, LISC CEO, urges the Administration to preserve and grow federal programs that support opportunity for low-income people and spark economic growth—not cut them. The prosperity, safety and stability of our country is at stake.