Community Investment Initiatives

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) has established community investment initiatives in areas with extraordinary housing needs in order to make a positive impact on residents’ lives. Such initiatives illustrate the capacity of the HIT to meet urgent needs for affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities while generating competitive returns, creating union jobs, and strengthening local communities.

Targeted investing is particularly well suited to the HIT because it takes advantage of its demonstrated ability to network with community-based housing groups, labor organizations, developers, bankers, and local governments to generate housing and community development. Drawing support from area mayors, housing authorities, developers and labor leaders, the HIT’s high profile initiatives are helping enhance its housing production capacity, allowing it to be an active participant in local financing and housing markets. The HIT has a long history of initiative investing. Current initiatives include:

  • The Construction Jobs Initiative, launched in 2009, is the HIT’s response to the recession and its devastating effects on working people and their communities. In support of the AFL-CIO’s priority of job creation, this initiative is working toward a goal of creating 25,000 union construction jobs by the end of 2015 in communities nationwide.
  • The Green Jobs Initiative focuses on investments in job-generating, environmentally sustainable projects, including construction of buildings designed to meet LEED certification standards and energy-saving rehabilitation and retrofits of older housing.
  • The New York City Community Investment Initiative (NYCCII) is a multi-phase investment initiative first launched by the HIT in January 2002 in the wake of the September 11 tragedy to provide much-needed investment capital for New York City. Through the NYCCII, the HIT continues to work toward increasing multifamily housing and homeownership opportunities for New York's working families. In its first four years, the HIT exceeded its $500 million five-year investment target. In February 2006, the HIT renewed its commitment to the City of New York by announcing a second $250 million-plus goal.
  • The Chicago Community Investment Plan (CCIP) is a multifamily investment initiative announced by the HIT and the city of Chicago in 2005 to help Chicago address housing and community development needs.
  • The Illinois Housing Initiative is a joint effort of the HIT and the Illinois Housing Development Authority, launched in 2005, to help the state’s needs for affordable and mixed-income housing.
  • The Gulf Coast Revitalization Program (GCRP) was launched to rebuild homes and communities that were devastated by the 2005 hurricanes. The HIT is working to address the urgent need for affordable housing and healthcare facilities for working families on the Gulf Coast.
  • The Massachusetts Housing Initiative is a joint effort with MassHousing to increase the availability of affordable housing in this high-cost state. After launching this initiative in 2007, the HIT met its initial three-year investment goal of $75 million by early 2010 and has continued to invest in affordable housing projects in the Commonwealth.

Prior initiatives include:

  • Section 8 Community Investment Demonstration Program (1994 - 2000) was a nationwide pilot program to expand affordable housing in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HIT was HUD’s largest partner in the demonstration program and was awarded $115 million in project-based Section 8 rental assistance in 1994 and 1995. Combining this with over $64 million of its own financing, the HIT was able to leverage more than $130 million of additional financing to develop 18 affordable housing projects across the country, creating 1,970 housing units, including housing for the homeless, the elderly and individuals with HIV/AIDS and their families.
  • Homeownership Initiatives – The HIT has carried out various initiatives to expand homeownership opportunities for working families around the country (1991 - 2012).
    • ProLoan – single family program offering forward commitments for homes in union-built subdivisions in St. Louis and Chicago (Since 1991).
    • Homeownership Opportunity Initiative (HOI) – mortgage loan program serving union members in the Pacific Northwest (1998 – 2002).
    • HIT Home – initially a nationwide single-family mortgage program to expand homeownership opportunities for union members and certain municipal employees. HIT Home later operated in New York City, providing mortgage loans for New York City union members and beneficiaries of the New York City Retirement Systems (2000 - 2012).