Announcing Our Commitment to Drive $5 Billion to Advance Racial Equity
Today, we are excited to announce a commitment to drive $5 billion in investments over the next decade to advance racial equity. This goal will guide our work as we seek to help build communities of opportunity, equity and well-being across the nation.
To launch this effort, LIIF has developed a strategic plan which charts a course for the organization through 2024.
LIIF has become a leader in creative capital deployment and investment in affordable housing and community facilities. Yet, we know that our work is driven as much by the financial system in which we participate as by our understanding of what is needed to create healthy, inclusive and vibrant communities. With the launch of our new strategic plan, we acknowledge the extent to which the traditional capital markets have long been rooted in White supremacy by limiting the ability for people of color to reap the rewards of their work, building wealth and reaching their potential.
The realities of 2020—a global pandemic, resulting economic recession and rise in public consciousness of the acts of violence against people of color, particularly Black individuals—have underscored the urgency of this change for LIIF and our field.
LIIF’s inspiration for a better future is synthesized in our renewed mission and vision. From this vantage point, we have realigned and identified focus areas for our investments, allowing us to strengthen our impact in three key areas:
Impact-led lending: As a community development financial institution (CDFI), lending is the primary engine of impact LIIF uses to build communities of opportunity, equity and well-being. Since inception, LIIF has deployed $2.7 billion, and our new plan will guide us toward establishing measurable, equitable outcomes for people of color through our investments by 2024. Ultimately, LIIF hopes to create a model that can be leveraged by other CDFIs and lifts up strategies that put power, community decision and capital closer to where it belongs—in communities.
Affordable housing: Long-standing racial disparities continue to create barriers to quality affordable housing for communities of color. The COVID-19 pandemic has only amplified this imbalance. LIIF is focused on preserving and increasing the supply of quality affordable homes, specifically seeking to advance strategies that address housing inequities and displacement for people of color and lower-income people. To accomplish this, LIIF has committed to offering capital products, seeking out mission-aligned partnerships and filling funding gaps to drive equitable access to housing.
Early Care and Education: Equitable access to early care and education (ECE) is fundamental to holistic community development and a critical social determinant of health. Child care investments create positive long-term outcomes for children, families, small business owners and employees and have an outsized impact on communities of color. As part of our plan, we’re committed to doubling the number of children and ECE professionals we serve by 2024 to expand and preserve access to high quality early care and education.
Safe, quality affordable housing and ECE are foundational for the well-being of families and communities. They are also areas where low-income communities and communities of color face deep inequities and where we believe we can make the most significant impact on people’s long- term well-being and opportunities for economic mobility. Leveraging our platform, partnerships and voice, LIIF will work to change the systems in which we operate and increase access to affordable housing, high-quality educational opportunities and the ability to live healthy and active lives with access to good jobs. Our renewed focus will spur generations of healthy families and strengthen community assets led by and for communities of color.
This bold vision requires a more intentional approach. In addition to a keen focus on embedding social justice and racial equity, we commit to influencing practices and policies within the field, building an internal foundation for innovation and learning and increasing our financial and organizational sustainability. We are also enhancing our internal policies and practices to ensure that we hire and do business with people and businesses who represent the communities we serve.
At LIIF, we know that we cannot challenge and disrupt our current systems without the support of each of you who share and support our vision.
View the plan: Mobilizing Capital to Build Communities of Opportunity, Equity and Well-Being to learn about our vision and how, together, we can build communities of opportunity, equity and well-being.