CityLink Center opens in Cincinnati to combat poverty

Kathy Schwab and Matt Josephs of LISC at CityLink Center
Kathy Schwab and Matt Josephs of LISC at CityLink Center’s November 13th grand opening. Photo by Pamela K. Taylor.

Cincinnati, OH – On November 13th, Cincinnati leaders gathered for the grand opening of the CityLink Center, a comprehensive social services mall which was built with the help of New Markets Tax Credits.

While the bulk of the funding for CityLink came from private donations, a critical construction financing gap of over $2.7 million was filled through NMTC program. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky leveraged its NMTC allocation to raise capital from PNC Bank in support of the 76,000 square-foot facility. This partnership not only bridged the construction gap, but also established a firm financial foundation for the CityLink Center, eliminated cash flow concerns, and encouraged further investment from the community. The NMTC financing allowed the project to move forward without compromising funds that had been designated to support the center’s initial years of operation.

“The Center will create a vibrant community space while giving families struggling with job loss and poverty a toehold on economic stability,” said Kathy Schwab, Executive Director of LISC Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky.

Matt Josephs, LISC senior VP for policy and former senior policy advisor at the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund said, “New Markets investments are about creating jobs, revitalizing communities and raising standards of living. CityLink clearly does all of that, and much more.”

Located in Cincinnati’s West End, where unemployment is four times the national average and the poverty rate approaches 60%, CityLink offers a wide array of services in tailored, individualized programs to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether it is GED classes and works skills training, financial and career counseling, legal aid or assistance with savings and credit rehabilitation, each client will be able to access the entire range of services they need to get ahead in life in one convenient location.

The center also eliminates barriers to success by providing onsite child care, vision and dental services, and a unique car ownership program that takes donated cars and makes them available with low cost, no-interest loans. The center also has public spaces, classrooms, an outdoor playground, and a café to provide an inviting, inclusive community space. It is expected to serve more than 1,000 people in its first year.

About LISC
LISC provides technical assistance and leverages corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods.

Since 2000, LISC Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky has raised $51.9 million to build or rehab 172 affordable homes and develop 10,350 square feet of retail, community and educational space, and open four Financial Opportunity Centers. LISC support has leveraged nearly $40 million in total development activity in our area. Visit the LISC website.

For more information about LISC’s New Markets Tax Credit program, visit

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