Union Pension Capital, Union Workers Will Revitalize Holy Infant and St. Joseph Apartments
ST. LOUIS, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) announced today that it is providing $6.6 million of union pension capital to preserve affordability and carry out a major rehabilitation of the Holy Infant and the St. Joseph Apartments, two developments for low-income seniors in Shrewsbury, Missouri, just outside St. Louis. Work on the $13 million project is expected to generate 75 union construction jobs.
"Union members need good jobs in this economy, but they also appreciate having a chance to give back to the community," said Jeff Aboussie, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council. "We are proud that the HIT is using union pension dollars to put union members to work on projects that will improve the quality of life for some of our community's neediest older residents."
By refinancing existing debt on the two properties, the project will keep the 157 housing units affordable for low-income seniors for an additional 20 years. Built more than 20 years ago under FHA's Section 202 program, the apartments are in need of substantial rehabilitation to improve their livability and marketability and to make them more energy efficient. The rehabilitation work financed by the HIT will convert most of the existing efficiency apartments into one-bedroom units as well as renovate kitchens and bathrooms to make them more accessible and expand community spaces. To implement the plan, apartment residents will be temporarily relocated to newly-renovated units as they become available.
HIT Chief Operating Officer Ted Chandler said the new investment is part of the HIT's Construction Jobs Initiative, a national effort to get union construction workers back on the job through investments in housing projects. Since establishing this initiative in 2009, the HIT has invested nearly $1 billion of union pension capital to generate more than 12,000 union construction jobs across the country. This includes nearly $200 million invested in seven projects in and around St. Louis.
"The HIT's investments in the St. Louis metro area in the last four years have helped leverage $400 million of total development and created nearly 2,700 jobs for members of the building and construction trades unions," Chandler said. "These investments are helping the HIT achieve competitive returns for our investors in addition to bringing jobs and economic development to this community."
Residents of the Holy Infant and St. Joseph developments are at least 62 years old and have household incomes at or below 50% of the area median income. The apartments also accommodate people with disabilities who are younger than age 62. The service-enriched facilities, with on-site social services, allow the majority of tenants to live independently. All of the units are subsidized through Section 8 project-based rental assistance.
Work on the two properties will be performed under collective bargaining agreements with local building and construction trades unions.
To help finance the project, the HIT purchased $6.6 million of tax-exempt bonds issued by the Industrial Development Authority for St. Louis County and insured by Ginnie Mae securities.
The HIT has a long and successful history of helping the St. Louis metro area meet the housing needs of its residents. Since 1995, the HIT has provided over $460 million in financing for St. Louis area projects representing more than $800 million of development activity, 3,936 units of housing, and approximately 5,750 union construction jobs.
About the HIT
The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is a fixed-income investment company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It manages over $4 billion in assets for approximately 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 billion to finance more than 100,000 units of housing nationwide, generating more than 69,000 union jobs. More information is available on the HIT's website, www.aflcio-hit.com.
SOURCE AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust