The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) announced it is investing $33.5 million of union pension capital to help construct 129 apartments for low-income households at Old Colony, one of Boston’s largest and most distressed public housing developments.
The work is part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan by the Boston Housing Authority and MassHousing in conjunction with developer Beacon Communities. This $61.3 million project is the second phase of the plan.
Construction of phase two will produce two low-rise apartment buildings and four clusters of townhomes. All of the housing will be affordable to households with incomes no higher than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), with at least 13 units set aside for households earning 30 percent or less of AMI.
The HIT estimates that the project will generate 340 union construction jobs.
Previously, the HIT invested $26.7 million in Old Colony’s $56.8 million first phase of redevelopment, which included 116 housing units and the 10,000-square-foot Joseph M. Tierney Learning Center that opened in the spring of 2012 and was also developed by Beacon Communities.
This initial phase recently earned a Readers’ Choice Award for best urban project from Affordable Housing Finance.
The new investment is part of the HIT’s Construction Jobs Initiative, a national effort to get union construction workers back on the job through investments in housing projects. Since establishing this initiative in 2009, HIT investments of $1.2 billion, together with $59.6 million of New Markets Tax Credits from the HIT’s subsidiary Building America CDE, have generated more than 15,000 union construction jobs across the country. Three thousand of these jobs are in Boston, where the HIT and its subsidiary have financed 10 projects representing $646 million of development and 1,202 housing units since 2009.