In celebration of Black History Month, the National Housing Conference is highlighting six Black leaders, including our president and CEO Maurice A. Jones, who are “making history today in housing policy, advocacy, research and community development.” The affordable housing organization gives props to Jones for his work forging economic opportunities and helping build resilient and inclusive communities as part of his “lifetime of service.”
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.”
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.”
Since 2012, LISC Philadelphia has been supporting and honing the Community Connectors program, forging a model for resident engagement rooted in local places, that leverages local knowledge and strengths. An article in Generocity delves into the workings of the program, the neighborhood people who make it tick and how LISC’s sustained partnership has helped improve community connection, safety and wellbeing across the city.
In an interview with Charlottesville Tomorrow, LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones unpacks the myriad fronts on which government, community developers and residents must intercept the affordability crisis. In addition to smarter policy and much more investment, development and preservation, “You also have to go at it from the people side,” says Jones. “Helping people get on a viable pathway to a living wage career” is crucial to making serious inroads on our housing challenges.