Liberty Meadow Estates Brings Housing, Union Construction Jobs to Joliet
JOLIET, Ill., April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) announced today that it is providing $2.1 million of union pension capital to aid the construction of 42 units of affordable housing at Liberty Meadow Estates in Joliet, Illinois. The single-family detached and duplex homes are the second of several phases in the development and will increase the supply of the area's affordable rental and ownership units.
In addition, work on the $8.0 million second phase of construction is expected to generate approximately 55 union construction jobs.
Located in Joliet's Forest Park community, Liberty Meadow Estates is a 26-acre mixed-income development designed to help revitalize the surrounding community while providing much-needed affordable housing to residents. The homes are to be rented for a 15-year period, consistent with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit guidelines, after which the developer intends to allow tenants to purchase the properties.
The second phase of the Liberty Meadow Estates development will create four duplex units and 38 single family homes, all affordable to low- or moderate-income residents. Four years ago, the HIT helped finance 74 mixed-income housing units as phase one of the development.
"This project is designed to meet people's housing needs in an innovative way," said HIT Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Stephanie Wiggins. "It provides affordable rental housing now while giving families a chance to ultimately become homeowners."
At a time when construction unemployment rates remain high, Liberty Meadow Estates is creating employment for local union construction workers. "Times are tough, and our members need the work," said Rod Zier, president of the Will and Grundy Counties Building Trades Council. "We really appreciate the fact that the HIT is keeping this job all union through its investment in the project."
Liberty Meadow Estates is the latest project that the HIT has financed in cooperation with the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) under a 2005 memorandum of agreement to help meet the diverse housing needs of all Illinois residents. To date, the HIT has committed $67.3 million for IHDA projects that represent 1,128 housing units across the state and over 1,500 union construction jobs.
About the HIT
The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust is a fixed-income investment company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It manages $3.9 billion in assets for approximately 350 investors, which include union and public employee pension plans, 38 of which are in Illinois. 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 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 over 98,000 units of housing nationwide, generating more than 67,000 union jobs.
Michael K. Frisby
SOURCE AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust