LISC National
Our Priorities

Sustainable Communities - 7 Priorities

Expands investment in housing and other real estate

By supporting efforts to revitalize the physical environment in communities, LISC works to promote growth while preserving affordability.

LISC’s Strategic Housing Initiative includes a partnership with the City of Philadelphia to influence housing policy to help residents and communities thrive; a city-wide approach to preserving and building new affordable multi-family housing; and a neighborhood-level approach to supporting strategic housing projects and affordable home repair (the Home Preservation Initiative).

LISC is an Impact Investor and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that invests in equitable real estate development, strategically using loans, equity, and program investments to help neighborhoods thrive. 

Increases family wealth and income

It’s not enough to have a decent, affordable home; families need opportunities to grow and stabilize their income and wealth.

LISC's Financial Opportunity Centers are career and personal finance service centers where residents can access multiple services to build smart money habits and work toward long-term financial stability. FOCs are embedded in local community organizations that are trusted and convenient to where people live.

LISC’s Bridges to Career Opportunities Program helps residents connect with a career pathway by providing a combination of classes in foundational literacy and math skills, technical training, industry certifications, and financial coaching.

Stimulates economic activity, locally and regionally

In order for neighborhood economies to grow, local businesses need access to capital and markets, and residents need local and regional employment opportunities.

Philadelphia LISC’s investments in Commercial Corridors create vibrant, safe places to shop, work, and play. By helping community partners attract investment, businesses and jobs to their neighborhood, LISC is a leader in growing diverse neighborhood economies.

National LISC’s Small Business Loans help local businesses grow, expand, and create more jobs to strengthen local economies.

Improves access to education, training, and family services

Strong schools and quality early childhood education are not just essential for children; they are central to the health of the communities where they live.

LISC’s support for West Philadelphia’s Action for Early Learning campaign engages parents of young children as “ambassadors” who help educate and engage fellow parents about early childhood learning and education.

LISC also supports Youth Programs with community partners that build job skills through career development, workforce, entrepreneurship and leadership programs.

Fosters livable, safe, and healthy environments

Positive, sustainable change cannot take hold in low-income communities where crime is rampant, health care is nonexistent and the only green space is dirty, deteriorated and dangerous.

LISC’s Community Safety program helps low-income neighborhoods tackle crime and safety from a collaborative perspective. LISC brings together residents, community partners, and police to build trust, strengthen relationships, and develop projects that turn once abandoned, derelict areas into safe places to live, shop, and play. 

LISC also partners with the Philadelphia Police Department to help officers integrate community engagement into their everyday police work, improving how they fight crime and interact with neighborhood residents.

Nurtures creativity through arts & culture 

The arts make a substantial impact in low-income communities by strengthening community bonds, inspiring young people, and animating a new sense of possibility.  The sector bolsters economic development, and forges a positive identity for challenged neighborhoods.

LISC’s Creative Placemaking work supports projects that bolster economic development, and forge a positive identity for disinvested neighborhoods. Arts & Culture Committees in West Philadelphia and Eastern North Philadelphia allow artists and community organizations together to a common vision for their neighborhoods and identify strategies to bring their shared vision to life. Creative Placemaking projects engage residents to activate spaces, revitalize places, and preserve neighborhood identity and culture.

Strengthens community engagement and local leadership

Our 30 years of experience has taught us that one of the most important and powerful factors in the revitalization of a community is its ability to engage residents and develop its own leaders.

In targeted Sustainable Communities neighborhoods, LISC partners with organizations to more fully engage neighborhood residents and stakeholders as critical partners in community improvement, merging individual hopes and concerns with the community’s shared priorities and plans for action.

In Eastern North and West Philadelphia, LISC supports APM and PEC's Community Connectors outreach teams, who help reach out to residents more than 100,000 times annually.


Rachel Brooks, Program Officer