Jeanne Cola, executive director of LISC Rhode Island, offers a succinct primer on what LISC is doing, and will do, to help communities survive the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. "Community is an interwoven tapestry of workforce development, education, health and housing," says Cola in a Q&A with Providence Business Network. The challenge, she explains, is to shore up the capital and political will to keep all those strands, especially housing, in tact, and make them stronger.
In an op-ed for the Providence Journal, LISC Rhode Island executive director Jeanne Cola lays out the imperative of ramping up funding for affordable housing in the wake of Covid-19 and tackling the systemic problems that created the affordability crisis in the first place. The pandemic's economic fallout is leaving more people than ever vulnerable to homelessness, and the time to prevent more housing instability is now.
This week, 200 more small businesses from underinvested communities across urban and rural America are receiving grants of up to $10K to help cover payroll, rent and other critical operating costs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. That brings the total number of grantees to 400, all of whom are benefiting from a $7.5 million commitment by Verizon. The twice-weekly Pay It Forward LIVE series will also come to a close on Thursday with a performance by Dave Matthews—the very artist who kicked off the livestream campaign to bring attention (and funding) to the plight of entrepreneurs hit hardest by the crisis.
The eBay Foundation has just ramped up its pandemic-focused grant-making to help more nonprofits and small businesses. LISC, a recipient of a portion of the largest donation in the e-commerce giant's history, will in turn deploy the grant money as part of its Rapid Relief and Resiliency Fund to support entrepreneurs, nonprofits and residents in underinvested communities across the country.
An article in Affordable Housing Finance quotes LISC EVP Denise Scott and affordable housing director Callahan Seltzer on the crucial place of affordable housing in a strategy to pull the country back from the economic brink. Affordable housing has always served the most vulnerable residents, notes Scott, and the current job losses put more families at risk of homelessness than ever before. We need to use all the tools in the affordable housing toolbox to help prevent a greater housing crisis than the one that predated the pandemic, they argue.