The San Francisco Foundation has approved a new $1 million Program-Related Investment (PRI), to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The $1 million PRI will help to finance the development and preservation of over 500 long-term affordable housing units near the Facebook campus in East Palo Alto for extremely low, very low, and low-income residents and families.
LISC will be working with Facebook, the City of East Palo Alto and a coalition of nonprofit, direct service providers based in East Palo Alto to address housing affordability. LISC will manage and administer the program in collaboration with the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley. They aim to raise $75 million. In addition to our $1 million commitment, Facebook is contributing $18.5 million.
Founded in 1979 by the Ford Foundation, LISC is one of the strongest, most experienced lenders to community development projects in the country. Its mission is to help community residents create healthy places across the nation that are good places to live, work, do business, and raise children.
The Catalyst Loan Fund was created in 2016 as a result of the advocacy work from a coalition of community groups known as “Envision Transform Build – East Palo Alto” coming together over the impact of a proposed expansion of Facebook’s campus in Menlo Park. The Fund allows the expansion of the campus while also creating programs to mitigate the effects of explosive growth in the region on lower income populations. LISC designed the program to provide funds to “catalyze” the growth of affordable housing for low to extremely-low income residents within a 15-mile radius of the campus in either Santa Clara or San Mateo counties. Thus, the Fund will offer early stage dollars for predevelopment and acquisition as well as a source to fund construction and permanent financing gaps.
A new Executive Director was recently hired for its Bay Area office, and LISC anticipates making loans as early as March of 2018.
LISC fulfills its mission through initiatives such as: investing in different kinds of affordable housing; financing public charter school facilities in low-income neighborhoods; connecting low- to moderate-income families with employment and career services, financial coaching and education; bringing community health centers in to underserved communities; supporting residents, local law enforcement and community developers to collaborate in addressing crime and build community; and providing grants to local nonprofits for staff training to increase leadership skills.
In partnership with our PRI donors, we are proud to support LISC with this important and timely investment. Learn more about our Program-Related Investment Fund and our current portfolio of loans at sff.org/pri.