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Who We Are

In 1995, LISC launched Rural LISC to expand its reach beyond urban areas to include rural communities. Today, Rural LISC partners with 77 community development organizations, including four financial intermediaries:  California Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH), Communities Unlimited, Fahe and Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC).  Together we are working to transform communities in more than 2,000 counties across 44 states.  For a current "by the numbers" overview of Rural LISC's progress to date, see the Rural LISC Fact Sheet.

First Rural LISC Annual Seminar
Bethel, Maine, 1995
Rural LISC Annual Seminar
Washington, DC, 2016

The Need for Our Work

Rural America. It is 3 million square miles and 71 million people.  It is countryside, small towns, mountains, farmland and coastal shores. Rural America is part and parcel of our entire country, and it matters!  Rural communities lack quality, affordable housing and health care. They are losing jobs and land to suburban sprawl. They do not receive the necessary government funding and support to provide decent education and transportation services. They are often unable to keep up with technology and the mainstream economy.

Despite the image of rural America as a farm-driven economy, less than nine percent of rural jobs are in the combined farming, agricultural services, forestry and fishing industries.

How We Work

Recognizing that rural communities' needs are not focused on agriculture alone, Rural LISC provides a wide range of services, including training, technical assistance, information and financial support, to help rural community developers address the problems rural communities face.  Rural LISC staff collaborate with CDCs to help identify priorities and challenges, delivering the most appropriate support to meet local needs.

We forge alliances among rural organizations, funders, lenders and policy makers, mobilizing corporate, government and philanthropic support to provide rural community development organizations with:

  • loans, grants and equity investments
  •  local, statewide and national policy support
  •  technical and management assistance

Rural LISC's strategies follow the five goals of LISC's Building Sustainable Communities model:

  • Expanding Investment in Housing and Other Real Estate
  • Increasing Family Income and Wealth
  • Stimulating Economic Development
  • Improving Access to Quality Education
  •  Supporting Healthy Environments and Lifestyles

Rural LISC is governed by an 20-member Rural Advisory Committee comprised of donors, lenders, rural community developers and other supporters.