Greater Kansas City Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the nation’s largest Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), has established a $4 million Catalytic Urban Predevelopment Fund to provide low-interest, flexible predevelopment loans for projects in the urban core of Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas.
The fund was formally launched at a news conference this morning at the Mary L. Kelly Center. About 200 persons attended.
Made possible by support from Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Hall Family Foundation, City of Kansas City, Missouri, and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, the fund will act as a catalyst to spur development in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods by providing the critical capital necessary in the early phases of real estate development projects.
Eligible borrowers will include both non-profit and for-profit developers planning a variety of projects, including affordable and mixed-income housing, commercial development, community facilities and mixed-use projects.
Loans will be deployed at 4 percent interest at two- to three-year terms for predevelopment activities such as market research, architectural and engineering services and environmental remediation. Special project investments with no interest charged may also be provided for technical assistance and capacity-building activities for eligible applicants engaged in early visioning and pro forma development.
“This is a critical resource that is rarely available to our colleagues working in the most challenging environments of the city,” said Stephen Samuels, LISC executive director. “One of the biggest obstacles to urban development is access to the cash necessary for early-stage work. We believe this fund will simultaneously spur transformative projects and build the technical capacity of small for-profit and non-profit developers.”
LISC will manage the fund from both its local Kansas City and national offices. As a community development support organization, LISC enables local organizations to access national resources and expertise, and provides local funders opportunities to leverage community development investments.
Since 1981, LISC has invested more than $143 million in loans, grants and equity investments in Kansas City, leveraging more than $621 million in total development in Kansas City’s urban core. These investments have resulted in 5,881 new and rehabbed homes, minor home repairs to 5,393 homes, and $22,483,112 in bridge loans to local educational programs.
Since 2006 LISC has concentrated much of its local resources into six targeted NeighborhoodsNOW communities within three geographic focus areas: Downtown Kansas City, Kansas; the Historic Northeast; and the Troost and Prospect corridors. LISC’s coordination of public and private resources and its hands-on technical assistance provide the neighborhoods with critical capacity-building support, helping them organize resident leadership around common goals related to improved housing, safety, health, education and infrastructure.