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What We Do: Building Sustainable Communities

Building Sustainable Communities

Sustainable Communities are places that offer the positive environments needed to ensure that all residents of varied income levels are provided the opportunities and tools to build assets, to participate in their communities, and to become part of the mainstream economy. They are, in effect, the embodiment of both "community" and "development" - places that create opportunities for residents to raise their incomes, build assets and gain access to quality education, health care, jobs, services, and recreational amenities. 

Our strategic plan identifies six program goals: 

Invest in Housing and Real Estate

Invest in Housing and Real Estate

Building and preserving affordable homes and other real estate is a cornerstone of community development. It provides the early fuel for broad-based revitalization by preserving affordability, improving physical surroundings, providing space for essential services and amenities, and stimulating new investment. It is crucial to the strength of neighborhoods, anchors the economic and social infrastructure that nurtures a community, and is the foundation for dramatic improvements in the quality of life.

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Increase Family Income & Wealth

Increase Family Wealth

Building family wealth and income, including connecting low-to-moderate income families to the financial and labor market mainstream and creating opportunities for homeownership is another critical element of helping neighborhoods build sustainable communities.

One sign of a thriving Sustainable Community is that residents feel confident that their lives will improve or remain stable, their incomes rise, and their job prospects will improve. LISC’s affordable housing development programs advance this goal by providing a baseline of economic stability and the opportunity to build equity. When a family moves into affordable housing they gain not only shelter, but a stable foundation on which to build their lives. 

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Stimulate Economic ActivityStmulate Economic Activity

Economic activity which connects our targeted neighborhoods to the regional economy and beyond is another important core asset. Working with community development organizations, Buffalo LISC supports small business and commercial corridor revitalization as well as larger scale retail projects that help integrate these communities into the larger economy.

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Improve Access to Quality Education

Improve Access to Quality Education

Access to quality education is a defining characteristic of a sustainable community. Building on its work with charter school facilities, Buffalo LISC has expanded its focus, helping organizations work with school districts, parent-teacher groups, child care facilities, youth development and afterschool programs to help make education a force for community improvement.

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Foster Safe Healthy Communities

Foster Safe, Healthy Communities

Redeveloping communities need to offer residents an environment that enhances their health, enjoyment and overall sense of well-being. This includes everything from tree-shaded walkways and safe playing fields to community clinics and environmentally sound design.

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Community EngagementEngage the Community 

A sustainable community is one in which its members are engaged. Buffalo LISC gives community residents the tools they need to help make their neighborhoods stronger and healthier. In all of this, Buffalo LISC is helping change the way people look at their communities,working with our partners to create communities that are good places to live, work and raise a family.