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HIT Appoints Ted Chandler as Managing Director of $2 Billion Program to Renovate Housing, Spur Economic Development, Create Union Jobs in Midwest Cities

2/3/2017
Theodore S. Chandler

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is proud to announce the appointment of Theodore S. Chandler as Managing Director of Midwest@Work, a bold initiative aiming to spur economic development, build and renovate housing and increase union jobs across the industrial Midwest, with a focus on nine cities from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Buffalo, bringing new life and hope to America’s urban communities.

Mr. Chandler is the Chief Operating Officer of the HIT and brings 30 years of experience in housing finance and community development to the additional role of Managing Director of Midwest@Work. Previous to joining the HIT, Mr. Chandler was responsible for managing relationships with national mortgage banking customers as the Vice President of Marketing for Fannie Mae’s Western Regional Office in Pasadena, CA. Also, at Fannie Mae he served as Vice President of Housing and Community Development for the western United States. At the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Mr. Chandler served as Chief Executive and Chief of Staff. Mr. Chandler has been instrumental in launching many of HIT’s community investment initiatives.

“I’m excited to lead the Midwest@Work Investment Strategy project as its Managing Director and look forward to making investments that will facilitate community and economic development across the Midwest,” Mr. Chandler said. “The HIT plans to oversee programs that contribute to a significant boost in local economies while creating thousands of union jobs. I’m thankful for this incredible opportunity to make a difference in communities and the lives of working families.”

HIT CEO Stephen Coyle said that Mr. Chandler brings to Midwest@Work “a tremendous amount of housing finance and community development experience as well as enthusiasm for combatting poverty in America’s urban communities. We are pleased that he has taken on this additional responsibility as the Managing Director of Midwest@Work, and look forward to his taking the lead on development projects that will result in the revitalization of Midwest cities.”

HIT Chairman Richard Ravitch said the MidWest@Work Investment Strategy initiative is designed to help tens of thousands of families across its footprint, states that border the Great Lakes, from Upstate New York to Minnesota. “Its focus will be on nine cities – Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Detroit, Columbus, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo,” he said, noting that the initiative will have a tremendous impact on working families and their communities.

The HIT, a labor-friendly, fixed-income investment company, seeks to invest more than $1 billion in 90 projects over the next seven years. Other sources and partners are expected to add $900 million in capital, bringing the total investment to over $2 billion. The total economic impact of these projects is estimated at $3.8 billion.

The MidWest@Work initiative could result in more than 25,000 total new jobs, of which 9,700 would be union construction jobs. To further benefit the communities, the projects are expected to provide $1.4 billion in income paid to local residents in the MidWest@Work footprint, and the total local, state and federal tax revenue generated are estimated at nearly $400 million.

MidWest@Work Investment Strategy has three components:

  • $1 billion for the development of an estimated 60 multifamily workforce housing projects
  • $157 million to finance the repair and restoration of more than 1,000 homes in five cities under the Union Home Repair Program
  • $100 million in in predevelopment and bridge loans to fund 25 housing and/or commercial transactions through the Economic Development Fund, a managed client account of HIT’s new subsidiary investment adviser, HIT Advisers.

The HIT created the MidWest@Work Investment Strategy, in part, to address problems that have been accelerating the decline of cities in the Midwest. The disinvestment in urban neighborhoods contributes to a lack of decent affordable housing, while the migration of residents from neighborhoods leads to abandoned housing and blight. And even when residents, city officials and community organizations have wanted to invest in the housing stock in these neighborhoods, there has been a shortage of capital available from traditional funding mechanisms.

The initiative proposes new approaches to address many of these reoccurring issues caused by the Midwest’s sharp economic decline, which parallels the decline in manufacturing output, union jobs and collective bargaining in the region since the 1970s. This decline has been marked by falling population, particularly in manufacturing cities, and an increase in poverty and people working in low paying jobs.

Laying the groundwork for the MidWest@Work Investment Strategy, the HIT in November 2015 launched a $30 million Detroit Neighborhood Home Repair Program, a partnership with leading civic and community organizations that is renovating up to 225 single-family homes and properties that have faced decades of blight. The HIT is partnering with a number of public, city and community organizations to make the program a success, including the City of Detroit, Southwest Housing Solutions, Building Detroit Futures, Michigan Building Trades and IFF, a Midwest-based CDFI.

“We saw the success of the program in Detroit, and decided that we could use this model to renovate other cities in the region. It’s important for affordable housing in these cities to see serious investment,” said Mr. Coyle. “The HIT is committed to improving the lives of American families and workers everywhere.”

This sustainable and replicable program is acquiring, repairing and financing abandoned homes and properties in the Detroit Land Bank Authority inventory, using union labor and providing union construction jobs to Detroit residents, particularly minorities and women. Furthermore, the program is resulting in significant benefits for the City of Detroit and its residents, including homeownership opportunities for families earning $20,876 or less (80% or less of Area Median Income); workforce training opportunities for Detroit residents through the Michigan Building Trade’s Access for All training program, and neighborhood stabilization.