LISC’s New York Land Opportunity Program is helping churches and other mission-driven groups scale the steep learning curve that leads to developing affordable housing on their land. Three years in, the effort is making promising inroads into the city’s affordable housing crisis, and inspiring similar initiatives in communities across the country. [...]
An in depth feature on Curbed.com details how mission-based groups, especially churches, are skilling up to turn their under-used land into affordable housing and other facilities their communities desperately need. And LISC initiatives in San Antonio, New York and the Bay Area are leading the charge. “Churches really feel the impact of the displacement issue in their communities,” says LISC Bay Area’s Laurel Engbretson in the article. “There’s a higher level of energy to get involved in this, because they understand the larger market context.”
In just one year, LISC’s partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Facebook, the San Francisco Foundation and others has hit its $500 million goal—well ahead of schedule and already making inroads to preserve, produce and protect affordable housing with new loans to mission-driven groups.
Twenty years ago, J.F. Bryan IV, a Florida insurance executive with a deep-rooted commitment to his city’s communities, spearheaded a fundraising campaign that got LISC Jacksonville off the ground. The story of Bryan’s tenure as head of LISC Jax’s local advisory board shows what it takes to drive a successful LISC program—boundless dedication to creating opportunity, and an intimate knowledge of local places and the people who make them hum. Says Bryan, “Every neighborhood, regardless of how challenged, has human resources.”
To fulfill our mission of catalyzing opportunity across the country, we are launching the LISC Rural Promise, a commitment to elevate our impact in rural America to 20 percent of our total over the next three years. The Rural Promise will build on 25 years of LISC's investment in and partnership-building with rural people and places. Now, we're taking it to the next level. We chose this week to launch our renewed effort in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose movement for civil rights and racial equity was rooted in rural America, where extraordinary talent, communities, businesses and natural resources are poised today to fuel a competitive national economy.
LISC's CEO explains the how and why of the LISC Rural Promise, our organization-wide commitment to achieve 20 percent of our community development impact in rural America over the next three years.