In less than a week, we will honor DC LISC with THC’s Community Leadership Award for their unwavering support and innovation in affordable housing. We asked our friends at DC LISC a few questions about the work that they do to make positive changes in DC, here is what they had to say…
What is DC LISC? Established 33 years ago, Washington, DC LISC is the local office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the largest community development support organization in the country with more than 30 sites and a rural LISC program. Our mission is to help create healthy neighborhoods that are good places to live, work, raise children and conduct business. We mobilize corporate, philanthropic, individual donor and government resources and invest them into the projects, programs and initiatives that build on the assets and address the challenges of neighborhoods and lower income households in Washington, DC.
How is DC LISC involved in DC? With financial and organizational resources to partner nonprofit organizations, Washington DC LISC is working to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. By providing loans, equity, grants, or technical support, Washington DC LISC helps local partners bring a range of improvements to their neighborhood: affordable housing, homeownership, early learning and adult education, performing arts, shopping and retail, and health. LISC helps to identify local priorities and challenges and delivers the most appropriate support to meet the specific needs. Depending on the project or circumstance, we take on a number of roles, including working in the capacity of lender, advocate, facilitator, funder, broker, and technical assistance provider.
How is DC LISC involved in THC? LISC and THC are long-term partners as supporters, collaborators, and investors in THC’s core affordable housing properties.
What are your most memorable experiences collaborating with THC? LISC has invested in 2 properties that offer affordable housing to families at the most vulnerable income levels. The key investment has been in Weinberg Commons, an extraordinary project that combines state of the art ecological technology and brings it to affordable housing. LISC was the first investor in the project, and provided acquisition financing for the vacant properties, and an interest-free loan to offset design. We also provided grant support for green enhancements and for operating costs for THC itself. As the project moved to construction, LISC’s affiliate, the National Equity Fund, syndicated the tax credits and helped assemble the financing team. LISC itself has made a permanent loan commitment and will partner with THC
on this project for the next two decades.
What is DC LISC’s vision for DC? And the US? Every neighborhood, no matter the income of the residents, has the potential to be a desirable place to live, work, raise children, and conduct business. By utilizing a comprehensive approach to tackling distressed neighborhoods – investing in housing, health, education, etc. – and bringing it to scale across the country, every neighborhood in the U.S. has the potential to prosper. Through continued collaborations with local leaders and partner organizations, struggling communities throughout the country will be equipped with the capital, strategy and know-how to become places where every individual and family can thrive.