The Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) invested a record $1.3 billion to improve the quality of life in some of the country’s most disadvantaged areas in 2015.
It is the most the organization has provided in any year in its 35-year history.
Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO, characterized the organization’s 2015 work as robust and comprehensive, pointing to its tremendous impact on places that might otherwise be overlooked by the traditional marketplace
“To accomplish what we did in 2015 required high-capacity local partners, committed and generous funders and, most of all, a staff with the intellect, drive, and compassion to shoulder and lead the work every day. Throughout my tenure at LISC, I have been enormously lucky to have had all three,” Rubinger said, alluding to his long history of leading the national nonprofit and his announcement that he will step down this summer.
LISC works in hundreds of communities across the country to help local leaders create economic opportunity for people who struggle to make ends meet. In 2015, that included record-setting activity in nearly every aspect of its work: from $47 million in grants to $200 million in lending to $970 million in investments through LISC’s National Equity Fund (NEF), a top syndicator of low-income housing tax credits.
“We financed more than 21,000 affordable homes and apartments, making 2015 a record year for our housing investment program,” Rubinger said, pointing to LISC’s wide range of rental housing and homeownership work. “While we are certainly proud of this achievement, it is particularly gratifying at a time when housing affordability has become such a pressing concern in so many communities throughout the country.”
2015 also saw LISC open its 80th Financial Opportunity Center, expand its work with the Department of Justice to reduce crime, grow its efforts around health with new funding for community health centers and launch a creative placemaking program in five cities that leverages arts and culture to spur community gains.
LISC finished the year with $260 million in net assets, ensuring it can both lend and invest in high-impact development projects, while also creating new products and programs that benefit low-income people, said Rubinger.