The Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group announced that it has invested $61 million in the New York Equity Fund (NYEF), the largest single investment in the fund’s history.

NYEF is a joint venture between the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., and the Local Initiatives Support Corp.

The investment will help support the preservation of more than 500 affordable rental homes in New York City.

For the past 20 years, NYEF has invested $1.6 billion to support New York City’s efforts to build and preserve affordable rental housing. NYEF has created 24,000 homes for residents earning less than 60 percent of the area median income, or less than $46,800 for a family of four. Goldman Sachs’ investment will support revitalization efforts in Harlem, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

Founded in 2000, the Urban Investment Group deploys the firm’s capital though investments and loans that benefit low- and moderate-income people and communities.

Goldman Sachs is increasing its low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) investing in the wake of establishing Goldman Sachs Bank USA at the end of last year. That’s given the corporation a growing Community Reinvestment Act obligation.

“Since that time, we’ve increased staffing in this area and built out a community development finance team,” said Dan Nissenbaum, COO of the firm’s Urban Investment Group, in an interview with Affordable Housing Finance earlier this year. “At a time when there is general contraction across the industry in lending and in investments, particularly in the LIHTC, we’ve actually been increasing the volumes in our community reinvestment programs, and in particular the LIHTC.”

UIG officials did not disclose how much they will invest overall but did say the level of investment will be significantly higher this year than in 2008.

It has also recently been reported that Goldman Sachs was interested in buying a large amount of housing credits from Fannie Mae. However, the Treasury Department in November notified Fannie Mae that it is rejecting the sale.

While a sale may have cut the government costs related to Fannie Mae, there was reportedly concern that it would have drained more revenue as Goldman Sachs used the credits against its profits.