A safe, affordable home is one of the basic requisites of life—a key to individual health and well-being, and the foundation for sustainable, economically vibrant and diverse neighborhoods.
Housing is where LISC started. And it’s still the cornerstone of our mission, even as our vision has expanded to incorporate work to improve education, health, safety and economic growth in the places where we work. LISC helps make quality, affordable housing available to low-income and vulnerable residents—from seniors to veterans to the formerly homeless—in underserved communities.
Affordable housing has benefits that extend beyond the walls of a home to the community at large. It boosts spending and employment in the surrounding economy, brings revenue into local governments and reduces the likelihood of foreclosure.
Our initiatives through LISC Housing are carried out in all of our 35 local offices and in rural counties across the country. These include neighborhoods where soaring prices in hot real estate markets threaten to edge out longtime residents, as well as in “legacy” markets, where the flight of industry and jobs has left a vacuum of disinvestment and poverty and where housing can stimulate economic growth.
LISC invests in all kinds of affordable housing. We help develop new multi-family rentals, and preserve existing ones that could be lost to market forces or deterioration. We finance sustainable, “green” construction and rehabilitation, which makes for lower operating costs and has been proven to boost health outcomes for occupants and entire neighborhoods. And we lead foreclosure interventions that help people keep their homes, or that reinvigorate communities where foreclosure has decimated block after block.
Our Bring Them HOMES program helps create housing for homeless and other at-risk veterans; and we back the development and maintenance of homes for vulnerable groups such as the elderly, those without permanent housing and people with special needs.
To make this all happen, LISC provides grants, loans and equity for nearly every aspect of development, from planning and acquisition to construction and renovation. We do this through LISC Housing and our affiliate, the National Equity Fund. We also created the Community Development Trust, the first real estate investment trust specializing in affordable housing that continues to invest in affordable housing around the country. We offer technical assistance, data and mapping tools to community-based organizations working to improve the supply and condition of affordable housing in their neighborhoods. And we advocate for good housing policy at all levels of government.