Magazine article Partners in Community and Economic Development

South Florida: LISC Expands Reach of South Florida Revitalization Efforts

Magazine article Partners in Community and Economic Development

South Florida: LISC Expands Reach of South Florida Revitalization Efforts

Article excerpt

Regional strategies for sustainable and equitable development are emerging as a new paradigm in community development. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has adopted this model in South Florida by forming a regional office to help nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations revitalize communities in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, and eventually Broward.

"We think a regional strategy is the way to go," said Annetta Jenkins, LISC's senior program director, who will head the new office. "Fewer and fewer are defining themselves by county lines, and it doesn't make sense for LISC to continue to do so either."

Since opening an office in Miami two decades ago and another in West Palm Beach in 1991, LISC has provided loans, grants, and technical assistance to help CDCs develop more than 5,000 affordable houses and apartments and nearly 225,000 square feet of commercial and community facilities--usually in struggling neighborhoods where conventional investors were reluctant to do business.

To implement a regional strategy, South Florida LISC will merge the Greater Miami and Palm Beach County offices, though LISC staffers will remain in both places and continue current revitalization projects in each location. The new structure is anticipated to reduce overall operating costs and increase efficiency, while implementing policies and programs that reach beyond traditional jurisdictional lines.

The merger should also improve the distribution of LISC grants, loans, and technical assistance to CDCs throughout South Florida. …

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