Opportunity Zones are poised to attract significant capital for new housing, businesses and jobs in under-resourced communities. At CNN.com, LISC’s Maurice Jones and The Kresge Foundation’s Rip Rapson take a closer look at what investors should consider when evaluating high-impact projects, drawing on decades of community investing experience to identify what works to raise standards of living and drive economic growth.
In a recent article for Nebraska public radio, rural development experts, including LISC CEO Maurice Jones, weighed in on a new White House agenda for economic growth in rural America. The plan's emphasis on investing in infrastructure could be a plus, Jones said, noting that boosting access to broadband internet would allow for wider use of online classes and professional training. “If you have the talent that’s prepared for the jobs, the jobs will come," said Jones.
Facebook’s Catalyst Housing Fund marked a leap forward this week, announcing its first outside investor: The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF). The $20 million fund, whose mission is to secure economic opportunity and affordable housing for Silicon Valley residents, began as a partnership of Facebook, Envision Transform Build and Housing Trust Silicon Valley, with LISC as fund manager. TSFF’s investment will help propel the development and preservation of hundreds of affordable homes in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, near Facebook’s HQ.
Read all about it—or at least part of it—in a wide-ranging interview with Next Street, wherein Maurice Jones talks about new avenues for partnership and funding, balancing our interests in housing and business, and whether or not CDFIs are too much like banks.
Across New York State, the Great Recession housing collapse mired thousands of houses in foreclosure limbo, creating so-called “zombie” homes. But communities where these houses languish are finally getting support, as LISC deploys $12.6 million from an Attorney General settlement for “zombie relief” grants to partners in 76 municipalities. An article in Shelterforce explains how LISC’s expertise is helping bring those homes back to the land of the living.