Giving Compass' Take:
- Denise Scott, president of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), discusses how the organization funnels money to local communities and government leaders to empower community initiatives.
- How can investing in lived experience help communities build their initiatives and expand equity?
- Learn how equitable investments can drive community development.
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Denise Scott has served as president of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) since December 2021. She joined LISC in 2001 as the executive director of the organization’s New York office and served as LISC’s executive vice president for programs from 2014 through 2021.
Philanthropy News Digest asked Scott about settling into her new position as president of LISC, one of the nation’s largest community development financial institutions, how the organization uses its investments to work with local community and government leaders at a time of historic crisis in the housing market and major economic uncertainty, the organization’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Justice agenda and how it shapes the work, and how and when LISC evaluates its job as “finished” in a community.
Philanthropy News Digest: Since joining LISC in 2001, you’ve seen the organization evolve over multiple presidents’ tenures. How has the organization’s approach to housing policy advocacy changed over that time?
Denise Scott: Our approach has changed in response to market shifts. We started many years back with a focus mainly on multi-family tax credit projects, and then we evolved to a broader housing strategy that included preserving single-family housing, both occupied and vacant, with a real push to focus on home ownership—not across the entire LISC footprint, but in certain strategic markets. I’ll call out New York because that’s where I started in LISC. Over time, we came to focus on both multi-family and some single-family homes, and then we started turning our attention to issues around community resiliency.
Read the full article about wealth gap and community development at Philanthropy News Digest.