A COLLABORATOR with a Heart: LISC DC Teams with Community Developers to Help Create “Places of Choice and Opportunity”
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), is the nation’s largest community development support organization. Their mission is to help neighborhood residents create healthy and sustainable places of choice and opportunity – good places to live, work, raise children and conduct business. In D.C. and around the country, LISC mobilizes corporate, philanthropic, individual donor and government resources and invests them into projects, programs and initiatives that build on assets and addresses neighborhood challenges.
They are a lender, donor, advocate, convener, facilitator and technical assistance provider…and LISC DC has been particularly busy over the past few months using these successfully honed skills to invest in one its biggest projects to date: Conway Center.
“We are extraordinarily proud of our latest collaboration with So Others Might Eat (SOME),” said Oramenta Newsome, executive director, LISC DC. “Being with them, members of the community and our other partners at the recent groundbreaking, clearly showed that the hard work each of us devoted to make this deal happen will pay off exponentially in the creation of homes and opportunities for families and individuals in Northeast, D.C.”
Construction on Conway Center, formerly known as the SOME Benning Road project, broke ground at the end of July and will be the District’s first complex to have affordable housing, health services and job training all under one roof. The community will be a 300,000 square foot, mixed-use complex spanning the block between 44th and 45th Streets in Northeast – directly across from the Benning Road Metro stop – and will cost an estimated $89 million to build. This innovative transit-oriented development project will act as a model for the interconnectedness between housing, health and economic opportunities, a dynamic that is increasingly gaining more momentum within the supportive services and affordable housing sectors.
To successfully invest in projects like Conway Center that provide the trifecta of housing, health and economic opportunities, LISC joined with Morgan Stanley and the Kresge Foundation to create the Healthy Futures Fund. Working with these two partners and LISC affiliates the National Equity Fund and the New Markets Support Corporation, LISC DC invested $34 million in equity to Conway Center.
“Once this community is complete in late 2017,” continued Newsome, “D.C. residents will have access to a comprehensive medical and dental clinic, supportive and affordable housing for homeless individuals and families and adult vocation education. This is a great example of a successful collaboration between diverse organizations all working towards the same goal – greater choice and opportunity for those with lower-incomes in the District.”
As a COLLABORATOR, LISC DC fully appreciates the benefits of its HAND membership, especially in terms of creating a platform to share resources, best practices and ideas at networking events and trainings. Through HAND, LISC DC is able to connect with peers who span the gamut in affordable housing and community development – thought leaders, change makers and other collaborators – all working towards the same goal of improving neighborhoods and communities.
HAND is pleased to spotlight LISC DC, which certainly contributes to our organization’s COLLABORATION, INNOVATION and TRANSFORMATION within the metropolitan area!