NEW YORK, NY - The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has announced that it invested $1.1 billion in grants, loans and equity to support the revitalization of low-income communities during 2010, its 30th anniversary year. The capital is spurring lasting change through LISC's Building Sustainable Communities initiative, which supports community-based efforts to transform disinvested neighborhoods into good places to live, work, do business and raise families. That includes LISC financial, technical and management support for quality schools and early childhood education centers; retail and industrial opportunities; community health and safety efforts; youth development and recreation projects; family income- and asset-building programs; and development of affordable housing and other real estate, among many other things.
LISC's 2010 activity includes nearly 10,800 affordable homes and apartments and 2.8 million square feet of educational and community space, including new schools, daycare centers and athletic fields that are serving nearly 38,000 children.
"The economic downturn has been particularly difficult for many low-income families and the communities where they live," noted Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO. "And that's on top of the significant challenges these neighborhoods already faced. Building Sustainable Communities gives those residents the chance to move their communities away from blight and crime and toward growth and opportunity. They can shift the outlook for their neighborhoods and themselves in a significant, sustainable way."
As for LISC, Rubinger noted that the organization is in a stronger financial position today than it was before the economic downturn began. "Some of that reflects the remarkable performance of the National Equity Fund, our tax credit syndication arm, which posted record results for 2010. But it also speaks to our ongoing strength in New Markets Tax Credits, as well a recovery in our lending, solid fundraising and new partnerships that have attracted fresh capital to important programs," he explained.
"Our financial strength is important because it means we are able to support an increasing number of innovative projects and programs that are improving quality of life in distressed areas," he continued. "After 30 years of work in low-income communities, it ensures we have the financial wherewithal to continue Building Sustainable Communities long into the future."
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised $11.1 billion to build or rehab 277,000 affordable homes and develop 44 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. LISC support has leveraged nearly $33.9 billion in total development activity.