Our Stories

What Tax Credits Can Do

Ever since its approval by Congress in 1986, LISC has been using Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to help build quality, affordable housing in places that desperately need it. The five articles that follow are a sampling of how we document the ripple effect of those homes—the way they leverage growth and energy in neighborhoods and lift quality of life for residents all across the country. 

1. Communities of Connection in the Valley of the Sun

Native American Connections excels at building beautiful and sustainable low-income housing and delivering behavioral health support to tribal Arizonans—and anyone else who comes to their door. As the light rail brings high-end development to the city's inner core, the longtime LISC partner remains a stalwart in helping transform the lives of people who might otherwise get left behind.

2. “Now, We’re Together”

For seven years, a tide of financing and human capital has helped energize Houston's Near Northside. Today, the neighborhood is home to a bona fide community, resilient even in the wake of tragedy, with resident leaders equipped and determined to build a better quality of life.

From our "Now, We're Together" Story: Angela Guerrero (at left), an Avenue CDC organizer, meeting with colleagues. Guerrero got interested in community development after her grandmother's house, where she grew up, was repaired by a LISC and Avenue partner. That led to an internship, which led to a career.
From our "Now, We're Together" Story: Angela Guerrero (at left), an Avenue CDC organizer, meeting with colleagues. Guerrero got interested in community development after her grandmother's house, where she grew up, was repaired by a LISC and Avenue partner. That led to an internship, which led to a career.

3. The case for housing tax credits

Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) finance just about every affordable rental housing unit in the country. And while LIHTC may be an imperfect tool in the imperfect world of anti-poverty work, they are a tremendous driver of investment in low-income neighborhoods and stimulate some $9.1 billion in local income, writes Denise Scott, LISC’s executive vice president for programs, in a column for New York University’s Furman Center. Says Scott, we need to shore up support for the LIHTC program in the neighborhoods in greatest need.

4. Growing Community in the New South Bronx

Banana Kelly, a LISC partner from the early days, has a storied history in the revival of the South Bronx. Today, like so many groups working in low-income places across the country, the organization uses new tactics, as well as tried and true ones, to foster community and preserve affordable housing in a vastly changed social and economic landscape.

From our "Growing Community in the New South Bronx" Story:The strawberries these girls picked on a summer evening are just a tiny fraction of the nearly 800 pounds of free produce the Kelly Street Garden has given away to residents, sometimes at "pop-up" farm stands on the sidewalk. LISC's Communities for Healthy Food NYC initiative has supported Banana Kelly's work to make fresh food more accessible in the neighborhood.
From our "Growing Community in the New South Bronx" Story:The strawberries these girls picked on a summer evening are just a tiny fraction of the nearly 800 pounds of free produce the Kelly Street Garden has given away to residents, sometimes at "pop-up" farm stands on the sidewalk. LISC's Communities for Healthy Food NYC initiative has supported Banana Kelly's work to make fresh food more accessible in the neighborhood.

5. Putting Affordable Housing Preservation on the Map

In the District of Columbia, where rising housing costs outpace growth in household earnings, quality affordable housing is elusive for many and a major source of stress for low-income families. LISC DC published a StoryMap that highlights our 2016 investments in the preservation of affordable housing. It shares the stories of residents and the team of partners from the public and private sectors that work together to ensure that we maintain DC's affordable housing for today’s residents and future generations.

Since 1980, LISC has invested in 366,000 affordable homes
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