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LISC Pledges $100 Million for Transit-Oriented Community Development in Los Angeles

originally posted by Philanthropy News Digest
October 22, 2013

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation has announced a $100 million commitment through a public-private partnership with the City of Los Angeles to expand affordable housing, businesses, schools, and community facilities in low-income communities located along public transit corridors.

Over the next eighteen months, LISC will work closely with local nonprofits and developers to draw up blueprints for neighborhood investments in underserved communities where transit expansion is either planned or under way. Once completed, the assessments will provide a strong body of research that can inform economic development efforts.

As part of a pilot project in 2012, LISC completed market assessments in the city’s Boyle Heights and Leimert Park neighborhoods, laying the groundwork for a broader effort focused on thirteen additional neighborhoods and demonstrating how communities can better position themselves to take advantage of redevelopment opportunities. In addition to the initial neighborhoods, LISC is working with the city to conduct community assessments in the Central Vermont, Crenshaw North, El Sereno, Highland Park, Koreatown, Main & Vermont, East Hollywood, North Vermont, Pico Union, Pacoima, Van Nuys, Watts, and Westlake neighborhoods.

According to LISC Los Angeles executive director Claudia Lima, the city has seen some of its federal community development funds cut by more than 30 percent, which makes the initiative all the more important. “When businesses scout for places to build, grow, and expand near convenient public transportation hubs, they are often quick to shy away from the city’s underserved neighborhoods,” said Lima. “But low-income communities can be good places to live, work, raise families, and do business. And they need the opportunities that come with the transit-related development that follow heavy and light rail and bus rapid-transit lines, just as more affluent communities do.”

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