2/16/2023 8:00:00 AM | Newsroom

Umpqua Bank Partners with LISC to Expand Affordable Homeownership Programs in West Coast Communities

New grant to fund creative solutions that address barriers to ownership specific to communities of color, rural communities in Oregon, Washington, and California

Umpqua Bank and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) are partnering to expand homeownership for communities of color and rural communities on the West Coast through locally-driven strategies that break down financing barriers and fuel wealth-building.

Through the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, Umpqua is contributing $500,000 in targeted capacity-building support noteworthy for the way it prioritizes local strategies that creatively address the homeownership challenges of specific low-to-moderate income communities across Oregon, Washington, and California. Beneficiaries will include a diverse array of communities facing barriers to ownership, including people of color and, in rural areas, people employed in the agricultural sector, whose housing costs outmatch wages.

According to LISC President Denise Scott, Umpqua's support will help LISC and its partners develop customized solutions to reduce disparities and expand fair access to quality homes – and to share learnings across the national LISC network. 

“This kind of capacity building support is like oxygen for nonprofits, and we are so grateful to Umpqua for recognizing the value of flexible funding for racial equity in homeownership,” said Scott.  “For LISC, this allows us to work with local partners to prove and scale approaches, and then take the lessons learned to other communities, where local leaders can replicate the impact. Essentially, Umpqua is multiplying the effect of its funding and will reach people and places well beyond its initial investment thanks to the resources it will leverage from like-minded partners.”

In Washington’s Puget Sound region, for example, Umpqua’s funding will fuel LISC’s work with the City of Seattle and the Black Home Initiative to design and manage predevelopment funds that can help new construction of affordable homes.

In California, the funding will help expand the highly successful San Diego Black Homebuyers Program and build the capacity of community land trusts in the San Francisco Bay Area, where they can also be leveraged to address foreclosure issues.

Additionally, Umpqua’s partnership will help LISC deliver intensive technical assistance to rural partners working to make homeownership more accessible in Oregon, California, and Washington, with particular attention to the housing needs of agricultural workers.

“LISC is one of the foremost leaders in helping expand access to affordable home ownership in BIPOC communities across the U.S., and Umpqua is thrilled to become one of its strategic partners on the West Coast,” said Randy Choy, VP of Community Giving and Nonprofit Partnerships and Managing Director of the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation. “Our initial commitment is structured to unlock LISC’s financial and resource capacity in our communities where LISC expertise and services for under-resourced communities of color are needed most.”

The grant, which aligns with LISC's Project 10X racial equity initiative, will fuel efforts including homebuyer down-payment assistance, the growth of community land trusts in places where traditional homeownership is out of reach, and help reinforce LISC’s thought-leadership on pathways to equitable homeownership.