By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter
Dozens of community partners gathered at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion to celebrate partnership and collaborations in community development at Toledo’s Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) annual Spotlight on Community Development event.
“Thank you to all the sponsors for supporting LISC through programmatic investments in Toledo’s neighborhoods. Galvanizing neighborhoods change with partner investments, is the theme for tonight’s event. These investments aim to improve the availability of quality and affordable housing, while increasing real estate value to strengthen home ownership,” shared Joe Napoli, president & CEO of Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye and Toledo LISC Local Advisory Board chairman.
The October 12 event highlighted the success of LISC’s concentrated housing investments as well as partnerships aimed at creating positive market changes in real estate values to strengthen homeownership and neighborhoods. The 2023 theme was, ‘Galvanizing Neighborhood Change with Partnership Investment.’
“It is awesome to see you here tonight to hear about this incredible work. LMH has been working with LISC and other partners. We prioritize strategies to achieve possible outcomes by linking the development of our community to the people,” shared Joaquin Cintron Vega, president & CEO of Lucas Metropolitan Housing and Toledo LISC Local Advisory Board vice chairman.
Toledo LISC’s initial downtown investment has spiraled out to focus on the neighborhoods that surround the downtown Toledo area. This expansion work focused on renovations and increasing the number of owner-occupied homes in partnership with Owens Corning, Key Bank, ProMedica and LISC. Currently the project has renovated and sold 35 homes while seven more are in progress and 70 percent of homes purchased were by individuals and families of color. The program is called Core City Program.
“It’s important to center ourselves around the work that’s being done to positively impact our community, to further the impact for the individuals and families that rely on us to get this right. It’s really about the families and individuals in the community that we’re impacting to make sure that they are apart of the vitality in our community and no just the haves and the have nots. That’s really want I want to resonate tonight. I want to thank the organization that are doing most of that work that are with us the Lucas County Land Bank, Lucas Metropolitan Housing, Historic South, and NeighborWorks Toledo Region, “ shared Tom Kroma, the newly hired executive director who began his role in April 2023.
Toledo LISC’s was established three decades ago with the mission to, ‘with residents and partners, LISC forges resilience and inclusive communities of opportunity across America, great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families.’ Toledo LISCs 5-year strategic plan is focused on the revitalization of specific neighborhoods: Cherry Street Corridor, Downtown/Uptown, East Toledo and Monroe Street.
In addition to the five-person team: Tom Kroma, Executive Director; Victor Alba, Regional Preservation Director; Sarah Allan, Senior Program Officer, Shaulonda Jones, Assistant Program Officer; and Selena Coley, Program Assistant.
The local affiliate of the National LISC received guidance and council in the areas of policy development, strategic planning, fundraising, budgets, etc. from a local advisory board. The LISC Local Advisory Board: Joe Napoli of Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye; Meg Adams of FirstEnergy; Adrienne Bradley of ProMedica; Jessica Ford of Lucas County Board of Commissioners; Chris Fox of Key Bank; Alan Hoge of Owens Corning; Ebonie Jackson of Bank of America; Ndeda Letson of Citizens Bank; Thomas Monahan, Jr. of Turner Construction; Thomas Palmer of Marshall & Melhorn; Rita Russell of Huntington National Bank; Matt Sapara of St. Vincent Medical Center; Reginald Temple of Premier Bank; Rob Thomas of PNC Bank; Joaquin Cintron Vega of Lucas Metropolitan Housing and Keith Wilkowski of Block Communications, Inc.