The Housing Justice Lab and MS Design and Urban Ecologies students will be partnering with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) this fall. LISC is one of the country’s largest social enterprises supporting projects and programs to revitalize communities and bringing greater economic opportunity to residents. LISC invests in affordable housing, growing businesses, safer streets, high-quality education, and programs that connect people with financial opportunities. This organization provides the capital, strategy, and know-how to local partners to get this done. LISC’s work has impacted the lives of millions of Americans in both rural areas and urban centers across the country for over 40 years. Over the last months, LISC has mobilized to support the people and communities hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. As the virus moves and expands to new territories, LISC is looking to support the capacity of small and large community-based organizations as they pursue innovative approaches, methodologies, and tools for their recovery efforts.
Our collaboration will involve envisioning and designing some of those approaches, methodologies, and tools. MS Design and Urban Ecologies students will contribute to the work of LISC’s Strategy and Innovation Office, which has compiled 40 years of community-planning across LISC’s offices into one comprehensive community-planning process, The Quality of Life Playbook (QOLP). The playbook seeks to convene residents, community leaders, subject matter experts, and civic organizations across cities to develop a vision for their neighborhoods and to translate that vision into achievable strategies. It is a valuable source with room for new organizing and planning tools, particularly during this time as community-based organizations start organizing recovery plans. Thus the collaboration will involve envisioning such tools to facilitate the assessment of the impact of Covid-19 in neighborhoods hit hard and to bring together community members, community-based organizations, and key stakeholders to identify needs and priorities to develop localized actionable strategies. The tools will become part of LISC’s community-planning process ensuring equity and inclusion which remains at the center of the organization’s planning and collective impact process.
COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL INITIATIVES SUPPORT CORPORATION