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Helping Communities Thrive

For healthy neighborhoods to stand on their own requires the help of a solid community presence to lean on. Greater Kansas City LISC proudly takes on this role of community support through various products and services to achieve more fully functioning communities.  

The array of LISC products and services include:

Financial Assistance - LISC provides loans and lines of credit, grants and recoverable grants, and equity investments to help community developers and other partners revitalize their neighborhoods. Since 1981, LISC has approved over $108 million in loans and equity investments in the Kansas City area and over $24 million in grants. 

Community Engagement - Because successful neighborhood revitalization requires the active involvement of residents, LISC utilizes a Community Organizing strategy to help enable residents and stakeholders to address their needs and take charge of changing their conditions. LISC-funded Community Organizers help implement crime and safety initiatives, encourage resident participation in the action items outlined in the neighborhood’s Quality of Life plan, bridge relationships between the neighborhood and other relevant organizations, and help increase the social capital in the neighborhood.  

Commercial Corridor Revitalization - Our commercial corridor work helps create jobs and stimulate economic activity.  We support market studies to identify market potential and support programs that encourage entrepreneurship.  This includes work specifically targeted to individuals re-entering the workforce after an incarceration, facade improvment programs and workforce development efforts.  

Affordable Housing - Despite the economic downturn, LISC continues to increase the availability of high-quality urban housing.  Since launching NeighborhoodsNOW in 2006, 42 new single-family (SF) homes have been built and sold and another 10 Energy-Star qualified homes are currently for sale.  Minor home repair and weatherization has become a greater focus due to market conditions (219 projects completed), LISC and our partner agencies have also completed and sold 31 acquisition/rehabs.

Green Development - LISC's Green Development Center provides financial resources, technical information, partnership opportunities, education, and policy support to LISC programs and the community development field, all in support of efforts to accelerate the integration of sustainability principles in the development of low-income neighborhoods.

Arts & Culture - Where others see a vacant neighborhood, we see a blank canvas. Greater Kansas City LISC is painting a brighter future for urban communities by incorporating art and cultural activities into our neighborhood redevelopment strategies. 

Youth & Education - Access to good public education ranks high on everyone's list as a foundation for a healthy neighborhood. Yet, attaining sufficient facilities stands as the biggest hurdle for both new and existing public charter and alternative schools. With initial support from the Walton Family Foundation, LISC established the Educational Facilities Financing Center (EFFC) in 2003 to undertake a three-pronged approach to LISC's efforts in the educational facilities arena.

Policy & Advocacy - It takes more than financial resources to get things done. Greater Kansas City LISC mobilizes the community to tackle tough issues and implement smart solutions. We provide leadership for regional policy networks in both Kansas and Missouri that focus on gaining political support for housing and community development. The results are improved conditions and much-needed resources.  

Technical Assistance & Best Practices - LISC offers a wide range of technical assistance to local organizations to help them undertake projects and programs within the community they serve. For example, we provide training opportunities, best practices resources, workshops and conferences, and local technical assistance in such areas as real estate development, staff capacity and skill building, organizational expansion and crisis intervention, and the effective execution of services under successful proposals.

Community Development Leadership - LISC typically has the role of intermediary in projects, not necessarily being the lead voice for community issues but usually playing a financial, advisory or advocacy role.  However, at times, Greater Kansas City LISC will provide leadership on issues important to communities.  

Additional National LISC Programs - Sometimes local resources just aren’t enough to see certain projects through. Fortunately, as a local site of the nation’s largest community development organization, Greater Kansas City LISC is able to tap into greater financial resources to support more concentrated local programs and initiatives, as well as provide a wide range of technical assistance.

Most Recent Items:

NFL Grassroots Grant Ribbon Cutting at University Academy

Stephen Samuels leads the University Academy fight song as hundreds of students, staff and supporters gather to cut the ribbon on the Gryphon Athletic Complex. We are thrilled to have partnered with The Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL Foundation in providing a $250,000.00 grant to assist with the construction of a new athletic field. We are really proud of these kids, on and off the field - Go Gryphons!

LISC Continues to Help Educational Outcomes

LISC has helped the Upper Room thrive for the eight year in a row with a bridge loan of approximately $2 million to help more than 2,600 students enhance their skills in English, Math and Fine Arts.

Catalytic Urban Predevelopment Fund Helps Move Five Projects Forward

In just six months, more than $850,000 from the Fund is being invested to drive a potential development scenario of more than $40 million that includes mixed-income housing and critical social services. Non-profit and private developers are benefitting from a combination of these low interest loans and zero-interest project investments that can move concepts from the planning stages through to construction.