LABOR PENSION CAPITAL BRINGS DEVELOPMENT AND JOBS TO YONKERS, NEW YORK
YONKERS, N.Y., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) Chairman John Sweeney today joined local labor, business, and community leaders to announce that a record $100 million in union pension funds are being invested in the construction of the new Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers, New York.
The project will allow the Pediatric Center to move from overcrowded leased space in Midtown Manhattan to a 165,000-square-foot facility in Yonkers, offering state-of-the-art care for medically fragile children. The HIT is providing $100 million in financing for the project, the largest single investment in its 45 years of socially responsible investing. The $116 million development will feature a 137-bed in-patient center and an on-site school for resident children on a 6.5 acre site. The project, which is under construction, is expected to bring nearly 1,000 union jobs to Yonkers.
"We are pleased to be able to help finance this very special project, which exemplifies socially responsible investing at its best," said Mr. Sweeney, who is President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO. "It is not only an excellent investment for the HIT portfolio, but it will also help the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center carry on its vital mission of life-sustaining pediatric care. Investors in the HIT can be proud of the impact this investment will have on New York's children and their families."
Patricia Tursi, Chief Executive Officer of the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, said that "the investment means so much to our very special children, their families, and their caregivers. The new center will allow us to offer an extraordinary home for our children to promote their healing, growth, and joy."
Also present at the ceremony were New York State Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch; Yonkers Mayor Philip Amicone; HIT Chief Executive Officer Stephen Coyle; and a number of New York labor leaders.
All on-site construction work will be performed by union labor, creating an estimated 800 jobs for members of New York building and construction trades unions. Another 166 permanent union jobs will transfer to the new location under an existing collective bargaining agreement between the Pediatric Center and 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.
This investment moves the HIT significantly closer to its goal of creating 10,000 union construction jobs through its nationwide Construction Jobs Initiative. The HIT launched this initiative early last year after the AFL-CIO asked its pension fund managers to do what they can to combat high unemployment and support economic recovery. The HIT is two-thirds of the way to its goal and expects to surpass 10,000 jobs by next spring.
About the HIT
The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust is a fixed-income investment company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It manages approximately $3.9 billion in assets for 350 investors, which include union and public employee pension plans. Thirty-five of these investors are in New York. 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 increasing the supply of affordable housing and healthcare facilities while generating employment for union members in the construction trades and related industries. Since its inception, the HIT has invested $5.8 billion to finance 95,000 units of housing nationwide, generating over 63,000 union jobs.
Michael K. Frisby
SOURCE AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust