LISC Indy director Bill Taft talks financing community development and his vision for Great Places 2020—an initiative to revive six historic neighborhoods by the city’s bicentennial—in an interview with Aaron Renn, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Taft also shares his key strategies for people who want to help improve quality of life in their own communities.
The excerpts and recording below are from:
"Financing Community Redevelopment"
By Aaron M. Renn, TheUrbanophile.com
01:07 - About LISC: “We put together capital on a national level from banks and insurance companies, and layer philanthropic funds on that—which allows us to make loans that a bank wouldn’t do.”
03:54 - A case study of the Pogue’s Run Grocer food co-op: “This was started by residents who were concerned about the fact that there was no place to get fresh food at a reasonable price in the neighborhood. They took their future into their own hands."
07:40 - Indy’s Great Places 2020 initiative: “The idea is to create strong, walkable centers of mixed-use activity in urban neighborhoods that have lost [those qualities]. We’ll be working on six of these centers simultaneously between now and 2020, which is the bicentennial of Indianapolis.”
10:07- Overcoming NIMBYism in mixed-use node development: “A lot of low-income housing people have seen is poorly maintained and poorly managed. This is a process of education—[to help] people understand what affordable housing can look like.”
12:12 - What you need to get right to do community development: “Find like-minded people who live in your neighborhood and create a loose association to start to share ideas and build some momentum and support for each other. Find common goals, even if you have a lot you disagree about, and stick to those goals. Find some tangible things to work on early on…[and] have a bigger vision of where you want to go.”