Organization Name: Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC NYC)
Project Title: New York Land Opportunity Program (NYLOP)
Project Location: NYC
The New York Land Opportunity Program (NYLOP) is an ambitious, first-of-its-kind program designed to help mission-driven organizations, mainly faith-based, find partners to develop affordable or supportive housing on their underutilized land. The goal is to help them develop hundreds of desperately needed new units of affordable housing, while also strengthening their ability to remain anchor institutions in their neighborhoods. In addition to building affordable housing, NYLOP participants expect to develop new space to maintain their worship services and expand their community programs that address the needs of youth, seniors and those struggling with hunger, poverty and homelessness in their neighborhoods.
LISC NYC launched NYLOP in 2016 in partnership with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit. Many faith-based organizations own land and recognize the significant need for affordable housing in their communities, but don’t have the expertise to address this need through development. LISC NYC designed NYLOP to help connect these organizations with expert developers. The program began with a series of four outreach workshops, acquainting approximately 300 participants with on concepts of affordable housing development and information on NYLOP. After inviting applications, LISC selected five NYC churches based in Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens to receive help through NYLOP. The program provides these churches with technical assistance from attorneys, architects and LISC housing officers to assess their land, create a development plan, and issue requests for proposals so they can identify and select experienced developer partners.
By early 2018, we expect all five churches in the NYLOP cohort to be positioned to form partnerships with experienced developers. These partnerships will not only enable them to develop sorely needed units of affordable housing, but also preserve these churches as anchor institutions in their communities, even in the midst of neighborhood change. The new developments will not only include hundreds of units of new affordable housing, but also new space to maintain the church’s worship services and expand their community programs that address the needs of youth, seniors and those struggling with hunger, poverty and homelessness in their neighborhoods.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a national nonprofit organization that equips struggling communities with the capital, strategy and know-how to become places where people with low and moderate incomes can thrive. The local New York City program, LISC NYC has invested over $2.7 billion, leveraging an additional $6 billion in low-income communities. This has resulted in over 38,000 affordable homes built and preserved as well as 1.8 million square feet of retail and community space created. Additionally, LISC NYC builds the capacity of CDCs to undertake work in the following areas: integration of green and energy-efficient measures into affordable housing; healthy food access; and economic development. Our CDC partners in turn continue serving as valuable stewards of affordable housing and social services for low and moderate income families in New York City.