Investing for Real Results and Opportunities in Our Neighborhoods

In the first half of 2012 DC LISC investments resulted in the restoration of a historic theatre, permanent housing for the homeless and homes for sale in the little enclave of Ivy City.  The process of development can often take years before we see outcomes and results. These springtime results are from investments we made in 2008, 2011, and 2009, respectively.

  1. Restoration of the  Howard Theatre in the LeDroit Park neighborhood
  2. Opening of Griffin House Apartment in the Anacostia neighborhood
  3. Sale of 17 new homes in the Ivy City neighborhood

The Howard Theatre

The Howard Theatre was once known as the “People’s Theatre” and musical giants such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye performed on its stage. But it sat vacant and decaying for decades. That is, until this April when thousands of people attended the Grand Opening of the restored historic Howard Theatre.

LISC provided a $3.9 million predevelopment loan for this project because restored theatres such as the Howard are beacons for other businesses and bring new life to a neighborhood, says Oramenta Newsome,  DC LISC Executive Director.

 Griffin House

So Others Might Eat’s (SOME) Griffin House Apartments opened this June to welcome 22 families and 18 adults who were homeless, and/or have special needs into stable, energy efficient permanent housing. Griffin House includes a community room, a playground, a laundry facility, staff offices, as well as a number of energy efficient features.

To make Griffin House a reality we joined with our affiliate The National Equity Fund  to provide over $8,000,000 in low income housing tax credit equity for the renovation of Griffin House.    In addition to a safe, affordable place to live the residents of Griffin House will have access to medical and dental care, assistance with case management and the opportunity to participate in SOME’s employment training and placement programs.

Ivy City


During the winter and spring another 17 homes were completed and sold in the charming little enclave of Ivy City.   Our partners Manna, Inc, MiCasa, Inc and DC Habitat for Humanity completed and sold 4, 8 and 5 homes respectively.

These homes are a part of the Ivy City Housing Initiative, a partnership made up of these three nonprofits, LISC and the DC Department of Housing and Community Development. This brings the total count of homes completed to 31 toward the goal of ultimately producing and selling 58 homes.  These 58 homes will increase the percent of ownership from 13 to 33%.

We began investing in the Ivy City Housing Initiative in 2009.  To date, we have provided $1,327,000 in financing and funding.

The nonprofits have worked to ensure each property is environmentally efficient. Beyond the measurable reduction in energy and water consumption is the immeasurable human impact that stems from living in a stable home.  Families in these homes will be able to raise their children in environments free of lead paint, asbestos and other toxins. Children will thrive in rooms filled with natural light and yards landscaped to maximize green space. They will be more connected to their neighbors and where they live. They will grow up seeing their parents have a voice in the future of their homes, their community, and their lives. Due to the efforts of the Ivy City Initiative, a once neglected community has started to come to life again.

LISC provides loans, grants, equity and technical support for projects, program and initiatives that will restore neighborhood landmarks and bring jobs, new investments and a better quality of life to neighborhoods.  This is our mission, to help create healthy neighborhoods that are good places to live, work, raise children and conduct business.