AFL-CIO Invests $58M to Build New Apartments

AFL-CIO Invests $58M to Build New Apartments
BOSTON, MA - The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) announced today it will invest $58.2 million of union pension capital in construction of the new Charlesview Apartments in Boston. With a total development cost of $152 million, the project will build 240 units of affordable rental units, while creating approximately 860 union construction jobs.

The Charlesview Apartments, which will be built in Boston's Brighton neighborhood, will replace an older 213 apartment development of the same name located approximately two blocks away. The new development will also have 213 units of affordable housing while adding another 27 housing units. The new complex features townhouse and mid-rise apartment buildings, as well as parking and over 23,000 square feet of retail and community space. Current tenants will be relocated to the new development.

"This substantial new investment from the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust will help Boston address the ever-growing demand for high quality, affordable housing," said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. "We value the commitment the HIT has demonstrated over the years to meeting the diverse housing needs of our residents, especially low-income households and working families."

John J. Sweeney, Chairman of the HIT and President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO, said, "The HIT is proud to be part of the Charlesview development team that is working to maintain good, affordable housing in Boston."

Of the Charlesview's 240 units, 221 will be set aside for households that meet Section 8 or Low Income Housing Tax Credit eligibility. The remaining 19 will be reserved for current Charlesview residents without income restrictions.

To help finance the project, the HIT has partnered with The Community Builders, the largest nonprofit urban housing developer in the country, and MassHousing, the state housing finance agency. The HIT is providing bridge loans through the purchase of $34.7 million of tax-exempt bonds and $23.5 million of taxable bonds from MassHousing. "The HIT's investment has helped leverage additional capital to make this much-anticipated housing project a reality," said Tom O'Malley, director of the HIT's New England Regional Office in Boston.

All on-site construction work at Charlesview Apartments will be performed by 100% union labor.

"With construction unemployment still unacceptably high here in Boston, these family-supporting jobs will mean a lot to our members," said Martin J. Walsh, Secretary-Treasurer and General Business Agent, Metropolitan District Building and Construction Trades Council. "This is a major project that will keep hundreds of union members working as it meets the need for affordable housing for local residents."

In addition to Charlesview, three other HIT-financed projects are currently in progress in Boston, generating an estimated 650 union construction jobs. The projects are:

Washington Beech: The HIT invested $13.5 million for construction of 56 affordable rental units at this public housing property in Roslindale, in cooperation with the Boston Housing Authority and MassHousing.

Old Colony: The HIT invested $26.7 million to help redevelop Boston's most distressed public housing property, with construction of 116 units of affordable housing and a 10,000-square-foot community center. This is part of the $56.8 million first phase of a revitalization effort by the Boston Housing Authority and MassHousing.

Franklin Park: The HIT invested of $25.7 million to support the $34 million rehabilitation of 220 scattered site residential units in Boston's Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods.

The jobs created by the Charlesview project have helped the Housing Investment Trust exceed its goal of creating 10,000 union construction jobs in less than two years through its national Construction Jobs Initiative. Launched in mid-2009 to help communities in need of good jobs and affordable housing, the Construction Jobs Initiative has produced or preserved more than 9,600 housing units on 32 projects in 18 cities across the country, including Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, St. Louis, and San Francisco.

The Charlesview investment is part of the HIT's Massachusetts Housing Initiative, through which the HIT has supported over $448 million of housing development and preservation since 2007, with investments of $187 million, creating more than 2,300 housing units and 2,100 union construction jobs.

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust is a fixed-income investment company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It manages over $3.9 billion in assets for approximately 350 investors, which include union and public employee pension plans. Eleven of those investors are in Massachusetts. The HIT invests primarily in government and agency insured and guaranteed multifamily and single family mortgage-backed securities. The HIT is one of the earliest and most successful practitioners of socially responsible, economically targeted investing, with a 45-year track record that demonstrates the added value derived from union-friendly investments. The investment objective of the HIT is to provide competitive returns for its investors and to promote the collateral objectives of constructing affordable housing and generating employment for union members in the construction trades and related industries. Since its inception, the HIT has invested $6 billion to finance 98,000 units of housing nationwide, generating more than 68,000 union construction jobs.
Source: AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust

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