How LISC NYC Builds Equity & Access
From providing vital relief grants to minority-owned small businesses to financing affordable studio space for artists and creators, LISC NYC partners with local champions to help underinvested New York City neighborhoods meet community needs. As New York City recovers from the devastation of the pandemic, LISC’s work to invest in some of the city’s hardest hit communities not only provides a lifeline to neighborhoods, businesses, and families across the five boroughs, but also represents the pathway for long-overdue systemic change.
LISC NYC’s work to equip underinvested communities with the capital, strategy, and technical know-how they need to thrive embodies the theme of OHNY’s current Urban Systems series, Building Capital: The Value of Place. Through partnerships with community leaders like LISC, Building Capital investigates how different forms of capital—financial, cultural, community—determine quality of place and quality of life in New York, and how these intersecting systems of capital can reverse legacies of disinvestment and discriminatory policies in communities of color to expand access to opportunity.
At the Open City Benefit on June 9, Open House New York will honor LISC NYC with its new Building Capital Award in recognition of their efforts to increase access to capital in underinvested communities across the five boroughs. The Building Capital Award is the first in a series of awards honoring a firm or individual whose work embodies and amplifies Open House New York’s signature Urban Systems program.
Affordable Net Zero Homes in Southeast Queens
LISC NYC provided financing for the construction of Habitat Net Zero, a project led by Habitat for Humanity of New York City and Westchester that will turn dilapidated, vacant homes previously owned by the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) in Southeast Queens into 16 affordable homes built to Passive House standards. The energy efficient, modular homes will be the first new construction properties on the Interboro Community Land Trust (CLT), which will ensure long-term affordability.
Affordable Housing, Retail, and a new LGBTQ Center in Harlem
LISC NYC financed the construction of a new community anchor in Central Harlem, developed by Carthage Real Estate Advisors and designed by Body Lawson Associates. Marcus Garvey Village will include 169 new affordable housing units, a retail space, and the new LGBTQ Center of Harlem. LISC NYC’s $6.5 construction loan was donated through the NYC Acquisition Fund, which exclusively provides loans to Minority and Women-Owned Businesses (M/WBEs) and nonprofit developers.
Spofford Redevelopment Project at The Peninsula
The Peninsula transforms the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center into a vibrant, mixed-use live/work campus. LISC NYC provided $8 million in loans to bridge NYCEDC grant funding and finance construction. WXY Studio, Body Lawson Associates Architects & Planners, and Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects led the design for the project, while neighborhood stakeholders included Sustainable South Bronx, The Knowledge House, Casita Maria, Rocking the Boat, and BronxWorks.
New York Land Opportunity Program
LISC NYC’s New York Land Opportunity Program is helping churches and other mission-driven groups scale the steep learning curve that leads to developing affordable housing on their land. Three years in, the effort is making promising inroads into the city’s affordable housing crisis, and inspiring similar initiatives in communities across the country.
Small Business Relief & Recovery Fund
LISC NYC launched the Small Business Relief & Recovery Fund in September 2020 to provide a lifeline to the minority small business community in the form of financial support to pay for employee wages and training, rent, and upgrades to technology and other infrastructure.