LISC Peoria program celebrates neighborhoods where LISC will initially focus
PEORPIA, IL – July 24, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — When the non-profit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) begins its work in earnest in Peoria, it will focus first on two neighborhoods: the South Side and East Bluff. Both have high rates of poverty and unemployment, large numbers of vacant properties, significant crime and crumbling housing stock. Today LISC invited families in both areas to celebrate its launch with a block party to mark its commitment to neighborhood rebuilding.
“LISC exists to help neighborhoods become better places to live,” said Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO. “We invest in better housing and new businesses. We support innovative educational programs and local access to health care. We help create jobs and make communities safer. And, we are eager to get started in Peoria.”
The Caterpillar Foundation, which is funded by Caterpillar Inc., committed $3 million to open a LISC office in the backyard of its world headquarters – a testament to the Foundation’s mission of investing in communities where the company’s employees live and work. The Greater Peoria LISC program is now ready to begin its quality of life planning. This step is crucial in the tested model for reviving blighted neighborhoods as it gathers input from the people who know the issues firsthand – the residents.
Greater Peoria LISC joins 30 other LISC local urban programs across the nation whose focus is also on eliminating blight, spurring economic growth, and raising the standard of living for low-income families. Part of what attracted LISC to this community is the strength of the nonprofits, progressive schools and existing public-private partnerships. Working with community-based groups, LISC will provide grants, loans and equity investments to build affordable housing, revitalize commercial corridors and create jobs.
“Having LISC in our community with strong support from Caterpillar and our hard-working not for profit sector drastically improves the likelihood that we’ll be successful in addressing the many challenges facing these urban areas of our city,” said Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis. “LISC is an investment in the heart of Peoria. I am excited and encouraged to see this initiative evolve and breathe new life into our inner-city neighborhoods.”
Greater Peoria LISC is nearing the end of its search for an executive director to head the local office. It expects to announce the decision in August. While LISC will focus first on South Peoria and the East Bluff neighborhood, it will expand into the surrounding Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford Counties. LISC already supports recovery in rural communities through its national Rural LISC program. Peoria would be its first hybrid urban-rural program in the country.
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised $12 billion to build or rehab 289,000 affordable homes and develop 46 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. LISC support has leveraged nearly $40 billion in total development activity. For more information, visit www.lisc.org.
Colleen Mulcahy, LISC Communications