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.
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.
LISC Rhode Island worked with the residents of Aleppo Street and the Providence Police Department to help turn a blighted, chronically unsafe area into a neighborhood of opportunity. By forging a partnership based on a community contract, residents, police and investors worked to reverse decades of problems. Captain Dean Isabella of the Providence PD, a native of the area, describes the transformation.
In the third installment of our #SafetyPartners blog series, criminologist Sean Varano describes the value of problem-oriented policing, and what a researcher can bring to the quest for safer neighborhoods.