The Local Initiatives Support Corporation is a national nonprofit organization that equips underinvested communities with the capital and strategy to become places where low- and moderate-income Americans can thrive. Since 2020, LISC NYC’s investment strategy has been guided by three pillars: radical healing, inclusive economic transformation, and sustainable wealth generation in communities of color. It supports local partners whose services aim to create a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable New York.
Trinity Church Wall Street supports LISC NYC’s work to preserve and develop new affordable housing while furthering racial justice. Through the New York Land Opportunity Program (NYLOP), LISC NYC provides technical assistance to cohorts of mission-driven organizations, which in the past have included faith-based organizations, and its most recent cohort, a group of owners of housing for seniors whose buildings are eligible for the HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program to preserve sorely needed housing. LISC NYC is now working with a consultant to develop a training curriculum to build the capacity of its next cohort: Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) developers. MBEs are the small majority- or wholly-owned for-profit development entities with a special designation by state or local government that have practical solutions and expertise, often rooted in life experience, to preserve and expand affordable housing in the city. However, due to systemic racism, these developers face persistent inequities, particularly access to capital. To this effect, LISC NYC is launching a new $1 million credit enhancement fund to position MBE developers competitively for public financing for affordable housing projects.
With Trinity’s funding, LISC NYC’s technical assistance in 2020 to an NYLOP cohort of five owners of affordable housing for seniors helped them identify pathways to preserve their properties as affordable housing through the RAD program. These organizations will have a greater capacity to refinance and rehabilitate their properties. Between the first cohort of faith-based organizations and the second cohort of senior housing owners, LISC NYC expects that these owners will preserve approximately 400 units of existing housing and construct 100 units of new housing. A 2021 renewal grant from Trinity is empowering LISC NYC to continue this work as well as select up to twelve MBE developers for the NYLOP program, assisting them in identifying strategic opportunities for land development and developing financing strategies and tools to support their proposed projects. In addition, LISC NYC is having an impact as an active participant in meetings with elected officials and is coordinating with the national LISC policy team to implement a policy agenda that helps keep land under mission-driven ownership.