MINNEAPOLIS, MI - The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is investing $4.2 million towards rehabilitating and sustaining affordability at the Yorkdale Terrace Townhomes, a subsidized housing development for low-income families in Edina, Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis. Work on the aging development is expected to generate approximately 135 union construction jobs.
"We are proud that union capital invested by the HIT is going to get our members back on the job while helping the community meet its housing needs," said Dan McConnell, Business Manager, Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council.
The $17.2 million project will make interior and exterior repairs and upgrades to the development's eight townhouse buildings that contain 90 residential units, all of which receive Section 8 project-based rental assistance. In addition, construction of a new standalone community building will provide much-needed space for service programs for residents. All of the rehabilitation work will be done with 100% union labor.
The rehabilitation work includes energy-conserving retrofits that make Yorkdale Terrace Townhomes one of the latest projects financed by the HIT under its Green Jobs Initiative. The energy retrofits financed as part of this initiative support the AFL-CIO's broader commitment to create construction jobs while conserving energy and reducing the operating costs of buildings.
The HIT is providing financing for the Yorkdale Terrace Townhomes project through the purchase of tax-exempt Rental Housing Bonds issued by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (HFA).
"We value the HIT as a financing partner on this affordable housing project," said Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal. "The union pension capital invested by the HIT is helping us assure that the 90 families living at Yorkdale Terrace will continue to have a quality, affordable place to call home."
HIT Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Stephanie H. Wiggins said the HIT looks forward to developing more opportunities with the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to build and preserve affordable housing around the state. "The escalating demand for affordable rental housing in Minnesota means we must do everything we can to preserve existing affordable units," she said.
Wiggins added that the Yorkdale Terrace project is part of a portfolio of properties developed and managed by CommonBond Communities, a nonprofit provider of affordable housing for the Upper Midwest. Yorkdale Terrace has provided subsidized housing for area families for more than 30 years.
Over the past 10 years, the HIT has invested more than $366 million in 30 Minnesota projects, leveraging nearly $600 million of development, generating over 3,600 union construction jobs, and creating over 3,700 units of housing, 62% of which are affordable.
The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is a fixed-income investment company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It manages $4.4 billion in assets for more than 350 investors, which include union and public employee pension plans. The HIT invests primarily in government and agency insured and guaranteed multifamily 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 over $6.3 billion to finance more than 102,500 units of housing nationwide, generating more than 70,000 union jobs.