LISC offers policy recommendations to Toledo leadersWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) released its policy recommendations for the City of Toledo to city leaders, mayoral candidates and the media Aug. 13.
LISC has secured more than $80 million in grants, loans, and equity from its national organization to help community development organizations build or renovate about 1,500 homes and 500,000 square feet of commercial space in Toledo neighborhoods.
“We have provided technical assistance, research and training for nonprofits and local government and have produced a number of reports and development plans,” Hugh Grefe, senior executive director of LISC, stated in his letter to the candidates.
“We want to give people time to review and think about our recommendations before responding to them,” Grefe said. “We’re very pleased that the media has given it a lot of attention.”
He also extended an invitation to the candidates to meet with members of the local advisory committee for LISC to discuss its recommendations.
“The people on our advisory committee are deeply committed to these recommendations for improving Toledo,” Grefe said. “We don’t endorse candidates or make political donations as a nonprofit organization.”
LISC based its recommendations on some core ideas that illustrate the importance of healthy, economically vibrant neighborhoods to the community, according to the recommendations released.
LISC encouraged Toledo’s elected and administrative leaders to support land-use plans developed by businesses and residents, approved by the plan commission and adopted into the Toledo 2020 Plan in its recommendations.
It supported reinvestment in existing infrastructure before committing scarce resources to the development and installation of new infrastructures. Capital Improvement Program expenditures should be targeted to areas with formal, planned redevelopment projects.
LISC recommended a coordination of resources and collaboration among various departments and divisions on all development projects. It suggests setting aside a meaningful portion, 5 percent to 8 percent, in all operating and capital budgets for strategic investment in projects.
The recommendations discuss the different methods of funding beyond the $80 million it has secured. It recommended funding guidelines and processes that mandate collaboration of all development and funding partners.
Successful development of new housing and commercial space is founded on clear and comprehensive plans that focus on neighborhood completeness, according to the LISC.
The report stated that “Toledo has been a city of great neighborhoods filled with committed citizens. Neighborhoods of choice appeal to a cross section of people.”
There are many characteristics of “communities of choice,” but three dominant factors guide people in choosing where they live — the quality of schools, crime, including the fear of crime, and economics that add up to neighborhood completeness, according to the recommendations.