Jonathan Rose Cos., a leading green affordable housing developer, and TIAA-CREF, a national financial services organization, have launched a $51.6 million fund to acquire affordable and mixed-income housing in high-cost markets across the nation.

The Rose Affordable Housing Preservation Fund, seeded by both organizations, will focus on preserving and greening housing in transit-accessible locations in the Washington, D.C., to Boston corridor, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.

“Being able to green and preserve the existing stock is doing a great service for lower- and middle-income residents,” says Nathan D. Taft, director of acquisitions for Jonathan Rose Cos.

Taft says by completing energy retrofits and making other green improvements on the acquired multifamily properties, the developer is helping to improve the quality of life for residents as well as reduce their monthly costs.

“For families who are struggling to make ends meet, if you’re creating a green building and you’ve been able to preserve the affordable housing that is close to job centers, then people can reduce a broad spectrum of costs they face on a monthly basis,” he says.

Taft estimates that the developer will acquire 10 properties with approximately 1,200 to 1,400 units through the fund. All of the acquisitions must have affordability requirements: 20 percent of the units set aside for households at 50 percent of the area median income (AMI) or 40 percent of the units set aside for households at 60 percent of the AMI.

The fund’s first deal is under contract in Seattle. The development is located on a transit-accessible site downtown, and the developer is working to enhance the existing affordability over what is already in place. A number of other deals are in the pipeline.