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.”
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.
In an op-ed for the Boston Globe, Karen E. Kelleher, LISC Boston’s executive director, and Paul S. Grogan, CEO of the Boston Foundation and former LISC CEO, sound an urgent call to action to tackle their city's affordable housing crisis. Taking stock of how other urban areas are addressing the issue, the authors propose four key measures that city leaders can take to combat the shortage and lift their response to the housing shortage to the next level.
As lawmakers in Providence confront a crisis in the state’s school system, LISC Rhode Island ED Jeanne Cola weighs in with an appeal to consider the comprehensive factors that contribute to students’ struggles, or successes—particularly housing. “As we look at bold ways to improve dismal test scores and address high absenteeism…now is the time to take a holistic approach and provide a consistent funding mechanism to add, or restore, stable and secure housing for Rhode Island residents,” she writes in an op-ed for The Providence Journal.