Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) was founded in 1980 to help local residents realize change, from the bottom up.
Our mission is to support the neighborhood revitalization efforts of community groups by providing them with financing (e.g., grants, loans and equity capital), technical and management assistance, training opportunities, and policy support.
For three decades, LISC has helped these local community development organizations develop strong, stable neighborhoods where diverse groups of residents choose to live and take part in local leadership and life. There is now a vital community development industry characterized by thousands of capable community-based organizations with impressive track records; billions of dollars of investment capital from financial institutions, governments at all levels, and foundations; laws and public policies that promote community-based development; and increasingly viable markets in many low-income areas that support expanding private sector investment.
In 2005, our vision of community development came together in an ambitious new strategic plan, to create what we are calling Sustainable Communities. The plan calls for LISC to concentrate not only on our traditional focus of affordable residential development, but also on re-establishing functioning local markets and on improving the quality of life of residents through work in public safety programs, health care and recreation centers, education initiatives, and programs to build family assets.
Principally, LISC implements this plan through:
- Local offices;
- National programs—experts in such areas as housing preservation, child care, community safety, education and family asset building;
- Special programs such as national policy and research experts that cuts across many community development issues; and
- LISC Affiliates that specialize in specific financing mechanisms that support community development projects.