This month, LISC and Cornell University will co-sponsor a conference on comprehensive approaches to turning vacant and “zombie” homes into community assets—and upending the conditions that create them in the first place. Helene Caloir, director of LISC’s $75 million New York State Housing Stabilization Fund, describes how this work is part and parcel of the broad challenges of revitalizing neighborhoods, dismantling racial inequity and sparking economic mobility.
Public programs that pave the road into the middle class are an investment in our country’s greatest asset—its people. As LISC and other organizations weigh in on the USDA’s proposed rule changes to the Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program, Maurice A. Jones, LISC’s president and CEO, discusses the imperative of protecting federal assistance that helps catalyze financial stability for our country’s most vulnerable residents—and boosts the health of our economy.
Helen Leung grew up in LA's Frogtown and understands well how the affordable housing crisis has torn at the social fabric of her city. As a 2019 Rubinger Fellow and co-director of LA-Más, she's helping pilot an accessory dwelling unit project that could go a long way to addressing the housing shortage and economic disparities in LA's low-income communities and beyond.
Few people in the world of community development got their start as early in life as Lahela Williams, a 2019 Rubinger Fellow who serves as the deputy director for Hawaiian Community Assets. Williams was barely a teen when she joined the board of her homestead association, a group that promoted safety, education and other quality-of-life issues for the Native community where she grew up on the island of O’ahu. That first job helped lay the foundation of a career dedicated to nurturing Hawaiian community leadership, as well as financial and personal empowerment for her fellow islanders.
As she steps into her new roll as COO for LISC, Annie Donovan, former head of the CDFI Fund, shares some reflections on the current promise—and challenges—of doing community investment, the origins of her personal commitment to service and creating equitable opportunity, and the reasons she decided to come to LISC.