LISC is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that offers financing during all stages of projects — predevelopment, property acquisition, construction, and permanent. We seek to strike the right balance between taking risks consistent with our role as a charitable lender, and recovering our capital so we can make funds available to future projects. Following are some examples of our loan products:
- Pre-Development Loans
- Acquisition Loans
- Construction Loans
- Mini-Permanent Loans
- Revolving Working Capital Loans and Lines of Credit
For additional information, download:
Providing financing for real estate projects in low-income communities is one of LISC's core activities. Below are featured project investments:
A Library Enters the 21st Century
Project Name: Petersburg Library
Total Development Cost: $13.1 million
LISC Financing: $2.3 million
LISC Local Office: Virginia LISC
The City of Petersburg, VA, 23 miles south of Richmond, has seen significant disinvestment in the last two decades. Twenty percent of its residents live below the poverty line and its unemployment rate sits at 10.4% compared to a statewide figure of 5.2%.
A recent study found 43 percent of adults in Petersburg to be only marginally literate. A library in a community facing these challenges is vital. The existing Petersburg Library is located in a house built in 1859. It is a small and inadequate space. Thankfully, that is about to change.
With the help of a $2.3 million bridge loan from Virginia LISC, the Petersburg Library Foundation (PLF) is in the process of building a new 45,000 square foot library that will bring the facility into the 21st century. The project broke ground in March. In addition to LISC’s loan, the total development costs of $13.1 million are being financed by a $12.8 million new markets tax credit allocation from LISC’s New Markets Support Company. Wells Fargo Bank is the tax credit investor. PLF also received a $5 million general obligation bond from the city of Petersburg. The rest of the project funding will come from capital campaign contributions to PLF, which will repay the LISC loan.
When complete, the library, which serves 30,000 patrons each month, will contain expanded book shelf space and more room for computer usage, plus new space for business and adult literacy training centers. The library will feature a café, Wi-Fi service, and improved accessibility. It will host programs such as Imagination Station, which helps young children learn their letters. It will also become the new location of a READ Center, which provides tutoring support and literacy services. The current READ Center is located in a remote area of the city, while the new library is across the street from the Petersburg Area Transit Center, making it easily accessible to the public.
Restoring Neighborhoods One Home at a Time
Project Name: Kalamazoo County Land Bank Authority
Total Development Cost: $817,000
LISC Financing: $200,000
LISC Local Office: Michigan LISC
The Kalamazoo County Land Bank Authority (KCLBA) was founded in 2009 to create vibrant communities by eliminating blighted properties and stabilizing those that could be saved, thereby creating affordable housing opportunities and returning properties to the tax rolls. A year later, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority awarded NSP2 funding to the tune of $6 million to the KCLBA, and $9 million to the city of Kalamazoo. The aim of this $15 million pool, which was to be administered by KCLBA, is to revitalize Kalamazoo’s central neighborhoods through the purchase and redevelopment of vacant, abandoned and foreclosed homes.
Empty, foreclosed homes pose an obvious threat to the health of any community. They lure unsavory characters who vandalize or live inside the buildings. The properties depress market values, and perpetuate physical blight and a sense of instability. KCLBA plans to combat these forces by using the NSP2 funds it controls to renovate foreclosed homes and sell them to individuals and families with incomes at or below 120% of area median income.
To support this effort, Michigan LISC provided a $200,000 revolving construction loan to leverage NSP2 funds, allowing KCLBA to rehabilitate properties in its portfolio. The LISC loan will pay construction costs. Once the renovated home is sold, LISC will be repaid from sales proceeds and NSP2 funds will flow back to KCLBA to be recycled for future home acquisition and rehabilitation.
LISC’s loan is intended to support the renovation and sale of at least 6 houses in the Edison, Vine and Northside communities, three of LISC’s Building Sustainable Communities neighborhoods in Michigan. Down payment support will also be available through the NSP2 program to make homes more accessible to low-income homebuyers.
Fallow Apricot Orchard to Become Affordable Housing
Project Name: Maybell Orchard
Total Development Cost: $19.2 million
LISC Financing: $4,000,000
LISC Local Office: Bay Area LISC
Although Palo Alto, CA is a community of significant wealth, 20% of its senior population lives near or below the poverty line, according to the Council on Aging Silicon Valley. Adding to the challenge of addressing this disparity is the fact that the city is nearly built out, with only 0.5% of its developable land classified as vacant. What land remains for development is also extremely expensive. This high cost, coupled with Palo Alto’s smaller lots, makes residential development difficult.
Enter the Palo Alto Housing Corporation (PAHC), an organization created in 1970 by the Palo Alto City Council and community members to maintain the city’s social and economic diversity by providing affordable housing. With an eye to aiding lower income seniors in the community, PAHC began negotiating to purchase a 2.64 acre parcel in Palo Alto that had been privately held in the same family for 100 years. Until 1991, the family sold fruit from the apricot orchard on the property. When the orchard was put out of commission, the property became fallow.
Recently, with the assistance of a $4 million loan from LISC, a matching loan amount from the Low Income Investment Fund, and grant funds from the City of Palo Alto and County of Santa Clara, PAHC was able to acquire the site for $15.6 million. The property was recently rezoned. In the near future PAHC will subdivide the parcel and sell all but one acre for market rate development, thus fully repaying the lenders (and partially repaying public funding sources), in effect significantly reducing the acquisition cost of the remaining acre to $6 million.
On this remaining acre it will build 50 one-bedroom rental units for a total development cost of $19.2 million. Market rate one-bedroom units in the Palo Alto area rent for an average of $1,800. PAHC’s project will offer one-bedroom units at monthly rents ranging from $545 to $1,136, providing an opportunity for long time senior residents to remain in the community they call home.