Home PRESS RELEASE LISC Puget Sound and Amazon Invest in the Future of Affordable Housing Development

LISC Puget Sound and Amazon Invest in the Future of Affordable Housing Development

by Ohio Digital News

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC ) Puget Sound, in collaboration with the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, is addressing the tremendous need for affordable housing by investing in the next generation of housing developers. Today they are announcing the second cohort of Housing Equity Accelerator Fellows. This diverse group of 20 individuals, comprising 10 for-profits and nine non-profits, brings a wealth of experience and a shared commitment to advancing affordable housing and community development in the Puget Sound region. 

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with LISC on this critical work,” said Senthil Sankaran, Principal, The Amazon Housing Equity Fund. “The Housing Equity Accelerator is essential – both for creating affordable housing where it’s needed most and for creating greater equity across the industry.”

The Housing Equity Accelerator (HEA) aims to boost the supply of affordable housing by nurturing the growth of emerging housing developers in Puget Sound. The program is structured to enhance capacity for creating more affordable units and to create opportunities for generating wealth and equity.

HEA’s comprehensive approach to capacity-building for Fellows focuses on three main components: Content, Connections, and Capital. The program offers a tailored 12-month curriculum and ongoing technical support to equip participants with the skills needed to scale their businesses for affordable housing development. Additionally, HEA facilitates networking opportunities within a diverse professional community and provides access to grants and loans to support the development of affordable housing.

“The Housing Equity Accelerator isn’t just a program; it’s a game-changer for our housing crisis,” declared Lauren McGowan, Executive Director of LISC Puget Sound. “Given Washington state’s need to add over 1.1 million homes in the next 20 years, with over half being affordable for our lowest income neighbors, these developers are an essential part of the solution. We are honored to welcome this dynamic group of individuals and organizations to the Housing Equity Accelerator.”

The new cohort includes eight women and features diverse representation from African American, Black Immigrant, American Indian, Asian, and Latin American communities. Sixteen of the fellows have lived experience in affordable housing, further strengthening their connection to the communities they serve.

From Everett to Seattle to Tacoma, the pipelines the fellows are working on encompass a wide range of developments, showcasing their dedication to addressing housing challenges across the region.

“Housing is the foundation for healthy families and strong communities,” said Michael Pugh, LISC president and CEO. “When we invest in the infrastructure of organizations that address local housing gaps, we not only improve long-term affordability throughout the region, but we also have the chance to fuel the kind of economic expansion that creates jobs and supports local businesses, while families build financial stability for the future.”

The 2024 HEA Fellows:

  • Alexandria Brown – Louis Rudolph Homes
  • Bilan Aden – African Community Housing & Development
  • Caleb Jackson – Uplift Investment Group
  • Cleveland King – YMCA of Greater Seattle
  • Danny Cage Jr. – YMCA of Greater Seattle
  • Demarus Tevuk – Seattle Indian Services Commission
  • Deonte Randolph – Product Development
  • Ismail Mohammad – Plutus Development, LLC
  • Johnny Vong – Blackfish Capital LLC
  • Kateesha Atterberry – Urban Black
  • Keelan Flowers – Flowers Investments Inc.
  • Khevin Pratt – J2Housing
  • Larry Gilmore – ClearBlu Capital Group Inc.
  • Mansour Camara – Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
  • Manuel Garibay – Kamiak Real Estate
  • Maya Spotted Bear – Chief Seattle Club
  • Mesha Florentino – Delridge Neighborhood Development Association
  • Mohamed Mohamed – East African Community Services
  • Tsega Desta – Ethiopian Community in Seattle

About LISC: LISC is one of the country’s largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth, and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and local economies can thrive. Since our founding, LISC has invested $29.7 billion to create more than 489,261 affordable homes and apartments, developing 81.5 million square feet of retail, community, and educational space. The Housing Equity Accelerator is one of the LISC Puget Sound initiatives designed to address economic, housing, and racial justice. Together with partners, we are working to increase the supply of affordable homes in the region and close the racial wealth gap.

Source: LISC Puget Sound

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