Policy

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Federal policy advocacy is a core tenet of LIIF’s efforts to support low-income communities and individuals. LIIF partners with policymakers and leading community development organizations to advance policy solutions that strengthen our nation’s community development delivery system.

Federal Policy Priorities

The power of CDFIs like LIIF lies in our ability to combine public and private capital to benefit local communities. Our programs each leverage public sector resources and partnerships to provide the fundamental supports for low-income people to more fully participate in the American economy, including affordable housing and access to transit, child care and high-quality schools. Federal funding – which LIIF typically leverages more than 16:1 – is an essential piece of this strategy.

LIIF advocates to:

  • Make the New Markets Tax Credit a permanent part of the tax code
  • Support robust funding for the Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund, including Financial Assistance Grants (Healthy Foods Financing Initiative and Disability Grants) and the Bond Guarantee Program
  • Advance education and early child care priorities through funding for the Department of Education’s Credit Enhancement Program and by establishing a new source of federal funding for high-quality child care facilities
  • Expand resources for affordable housing and community development programs, including the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, Capital Magnet Fund, and key HUD Programs
  • Ensure that the Community Reinvestment Act continues to support robust investment in affordable housing and community development programs
  • Ensure that investments in the new Opportunity Zones tax incentive have a positive impact and are accountable to low-income communities and individuals.

Interested in coordinating with LIIF on federal policy advocacy? Contact Olivia Barrow, Policy Officer, at obarrow@liifund.org.

Read below for more information about our policy work.

Affordable Housing Policy

LIIF actively advocates for policies that support affordable housing development across the nation. Our affordable housing agenda has two primary goals:

  • Protect and expand resources for affordable housing and community development programs, including the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, Capital Magnet Fund, and key HUD Programs
  • Support efforts to develop new solutions to the nation’s housing affordability crisis.

LIIF is a member of the National Housing Conference, the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, and the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Child Care Policy

High-quality child care facilities contribute to improved social and economic outcomes for children, small business development for child care operators, and economic opportunities for parents who have the flexibility to work while their children are cared for in safe and stimulating environments. Given the far-reaching benefits of child care, LIIF is a strong advocate for increased resources – including capital and technical assistance – to support the development of high-quality child care facilities.

Education Policy

LIIF is an advocate for increased resources for financing and technical assistance for high-quality public charter schools, which have emerged as a promising alternative to some traditional public schools in underserved neighborhoods. Lack of access to facilities is cited as a primary barrier to expansion for many high-performing charter schools. These schools do not have access to many of the traditional public funding mechanisms available to other public schools, such as a dedicated stream of capital funding and the ability to levy taxes. This puts charter schools at a distinct disadvantage in making operational and facility enhancements.

As part of our policy efforts to support high-performing schools, LIIF chairs the Charter School Lenders’ Coalition (CSLC), a national organization of community development groups supporting policies that benefit charter schools. Through its leadership of the CSLC, LIIF is working to ensure that low-wealth communities have access to high-quality schools to expand opportunities for thousands of children.

Healthy Food Policy

LIIF believes strongly that access to fresh, healthy food is a critical component of improving the lives of America’s impoverished communities. Increased local availability of fresh, healthy food has been linked to families making more nutritious food choices and maintaining better health. LIIF supports local, state and federal policies, such as the national Healthy Foods Financing Initiative, that support food access for low income communities.

Transit-Oriented Development Policy

Living near accessible, affordable transportation and neighborhood services is a recognized advantage for people at all income levels, but high demand combined with the high cost of developing TOD projects often means projects are developed for higher income clients. LIIF is working with philanthropic and public sector partners to support equitable TOD projects and ensure the benefits of TOD do not skip low-income communities. As part of this effort, LIIF also advocates for the inclusion of essential services, such as child care facilities and schools, near TOD sites to build strong, sustainable local economies.

Resources & Publications

Visit our Publications page for articles and publications about our policy work