Community Wise

Erik Takeshita

Artists and residents together sketch stronger communities

By Erik Takeshita
Deputy Director, Twin Cities LISC

(Pt. 2 of 7 on creative placemaking)
I was fortunate enough to be asked to attend a summit of ArtPlace grantees in Los Angeles last month, where Jamie Bennett, ArtPlace’s new executive director, noted that in a few short years we’ve been able to remove the “air quotes” from around creative placemaking. Creative placemaking has become an established concept... More[+]

Turning 'promise' into reality in Philadelphia

Four months ago, President Obama designated an area of West Philly as one of the first Promise Zones in the country, and residents are already seeing a difference. Led by Drexel University, along with strong nonprofits, engaged residents, the city and LISC, Promise Zone partners are already reviving businesses along 52nd street; improving community-police relations; and, most importantly, attracting new resources for housing, jobs, and education. As Andy Frishkoff of Philadelphia LISC points out, the Promise Zone program is helping LISC amplify a wide range of work already underway to create a safer, stronger community. More[+]...

Make more Paseo Verdes possible – Preserve Housing and New Markets Tax Credits!

Paseo Verde is a dream come true for the hundreds of Philadelphians who live there. Matt Josephs, LISC's senior vice president for policy, writes about the newly opened mixed-use development which is affordable, located near transit and LEED-ND certified. It is also a capstone of redevelopment in Eastern North Philadelphia. But this dream could never have come true without the support of federal Low Income Housing and New Markets Tax Credits. As Washington contemplates sweeping tax reforms, it’s up to us to make sure that Congress knows how important it is to preserve the tax credits that make projects like Paseo Verde possible. More[+]...

Foreclosed homes become opportunity for Chicago families

Chicago rehabs

On Chicago's Southwest side—in a community ripe for turnaround—a unique purchase-and-rehab program is providing the push neighbors need to deal with the lingering effects of the foreclosure crisis. It combines public money with private loans to rehab homes and works with community-based organizations to identify and educate potential homeowners. "This is about developing homeowners as well as developing buildings," explains one local leader. More[+]...