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Philadelphia LISC is one of 31 local offices of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national nonprofit community development organization and CDFI. Overall, LISC has invested $17.3 billion in neighborhoods and rural communities across the United States.
In Philadelphia, LISC is a catalyst for community change, working with partners on the ground to strengthen neighborhoods and improve the lives of residents. We combine corporate, government, and philanthropic resources and have invested more than $400 million (and leveraged $1.4 billion) in Philadelphia's neighborhoods to build or preserve more than 8,150 affordable homes and to develop more than 2 million square feet of retail, community and educational space since 1980. Our goal is to create neighborhoods of choice and opportunity, where every resident has a chance to thrive.
LISC has been tapped to manage an $18.5 million investment from Facebook to help community groups and the city of East Palo Alto create quality affordable housing in Silicon Valley. LISC plans to quadruple the Catalyst Fund to $75 million to address affordable housing and access to economic opportunity for local residents.
LISC's partners Impact, NKCDC, and Scattergood Foundation wrote this letter to the Inquirer, praising their recent articles touting the amazing work the librarians at McPherson Square do every day, but decrying the publication for describing McPherson as Needle Park and calling the neighborhood a “hellscape.” Such language, they write, perpetuates a story about Kensington that reduces everyone there to victims or criminals, further instilling a sense of hopelessness.
As the National Equity Fund (NEF) turns 30, LISC CEO Maurice Jones and NEF president Joe Hagan take the measure of all that has been accomplished thanks to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. That includes three million affordable homes since the credit was created in 1986, and 90 percent of all affordable housing being built today. Ensuring that more low-income people can keep a roof over their heads demands safeguarding—and refining—the tools that make affordable homes possible.
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.
Taller Puertorriqueño is a steadfast cultural anchor in the Fairhill section of Philly, and a longtime LISC partner. An article in Next City narrates the group’s influential history and describes how its gorgeous new headquarters, funded in part by a $2.1 million loan from LISC, symbolize the organization’s enduring impact on its community, its neighborhood and the city at large.
Research has proven that crime, particularly violent crime, clusters in discreet, neighborhood hotspots. In an op-ed for The Marshall Project, Maurice Jones, LISC CEO, and Julia Ryan, director of safety programming, explain how that knowledge should guide our crime-fighting strategies and why investments in neighborhoods are critical to stopping violence. They highlight the success of LISC's Community Safety work in Philadelphia.