Socially Responsible Investing

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) takes pride in its history of socially responsible investing. As a steward of union pension capital, the HIT is committed to producing competitive returns for its investors, but it also works to generate collateral benefits such as housing, jobs and community development that support the values of the union movement. Most recently, as part of the AFL-CIO’s response to the recession that began in 2007 and its aftermath, the HIT launched its Construction Jobs Initiative with the goal of financing 10,000 union construction jobs by the spring of 2011. After achieving this goal, the HIT raised its target from 10,000 to 15,000 jobs, reaching this number in October 2012. With the support of its investors, the HIT is now working toward a new goal of creating 25,000 jobs by year-end 2015.

In more than four decades of investing, the HIT and its predecessor fund have financed more than 100,000 units of housing, enhancing the nation’s stock of affordable housing and revitalizing communities coast to coast. The HIT’s union labor requirement has generated more than 70,000 good union jobs on the projects it finances – jobs that pay family-supporting wages and contribute to the economic base of the communities where it invests.

With its expertise in housing finance, the HIT serves as a long-term partner of public and private organizations that share its commitment to housing and community development across the country. It works closely with public housing agencies, non-profit housing organizations, private developers, members of the mortgage banking community, labor unions and others concerned with housing and community revitalization to ensure the success of development projects.

The HIT has built an extensive network of housing development partners through its community investing strategy. Through those relationships, the HIT is helping to make a difference in communities with significant needs for housing that is affordable to working families. Its community networks have enabled the HIT to go into cities like New York and Chicago to mount special investment initiatives that focus resources on affordable housing development and preservation and on expanding homeownership opportunities for union members and public employees. This strategy has led to more than $700 million invested in New York City housing and homeownership since 2002; to partnerships with the Illinois Housing Development Authority and MassHousing to expand affordable housing in their states; and to HIT's Gulf Coast Revitalization Program to help rebuild the Gulf Coast following the unprecedented destruction and displacement caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The HIT is focused on maintaining and increasing such relationships in these cities and others as it seeks sound multifamily investments nationwide.