LISC Jacksonville executive director Janet Owens recently spoke with WJCT, the area’s NPR affiliate, about the city’s incentive plan to eliminate food deserts and what it will take to make that happen. Owens, who was honored with a OneJax Humanitarian Award in April for her years of service to the city, discussed how that plan will need to a range of interconnected resources. It isn’t just about adding more groceries stores, she said. Partners need to come together to close the gap on the deeper issues that prevent neighborhoods from moving forward, like housing, economic development and employment.Listen Now
The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, part of the U.S. Treasury department, announced the recipients of $3.5 billion in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocations for 2019. $60 million was allocated to LISC’s subsidiary, the New Markets Support Company. Since its inception, NMSC has harnessed $1 billion in tax credits to offer flexible capital for projects that benefit low-income communities across the count--projects ranging from Cincinatti’s CityLink Center, home to 15 social service agencies, to a health clinic-plus-grocery store in Brockton, MA to the public library in Petersburg, VA.
An in depth report from NY1 News explains how the Inclusive Creative Economy Fund has galvanized the future of a venerable downtown theater, La Mama. Thanks to a $3 million line of credit from LISC, the nearly 60-year-old institution, which has nurtured thousands of experimental artists and engages a broad diversity of audiences, is able to renovate its aging building and continue its valuable work. The fund’s model of raising debt capital from an array of impact investors to support creative economies and stimulate job growth, the report noted, can be scaled for communities across the country where real estate costs and other forces threaten local arts and culture.
Check out our top three reads of the week. They cover the challenges and opportunities facing American communities right now. This week, we’re reading an excerpt from Alexander Garvin's latest book, contemplating what constitutes a “good job” and learning about health equity in rural America.
This week, LISC Duluth marked its 21st year of investing in the city and the key work of local partners at its annual Building Healthy Community Awards. Governor Tim Walz gave the keynote address, stressing how innovative collaboration between local government and community leaders can make the city a safe and prosperous place for all residents. The LISC partnership model, he added, “is what smart government should do…what smart communities should do.”