MARCH 2011
                                        

AFL-CIO housing trust promotes green building

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is helping to finance a number of energy-efficient development projects that have received or are on track to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for their sustainable energy and construction strategies as well as innovative green design.

To date, the HIT has provided $274 million of financing for 11 projects that have received or are expected to receive LEED designation. The projects have created 1,653 housing units and approximately 4,100 union construction jobs, while leveraging more than $660 million of development activity for communities in Minnesota, California, New York, and Massachusetts.

Examples include:

•Arc Light Co., San Francisco, California: The developer of this $48 million project in San Francisco’s South Beach community is seeking LEED Gold certification for the 94-unit complex. The HIT committed $32.5 million last year for the project, which involves the conversion of a historic commercial building into an innovative multifamily development.

•Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, Yonkers, New York: Designed to be a LEED-certified facility, the new $116 million Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center is currently under construction just outside of New York City. Last year the HIT committed $100 million in financing for the project that will feature a 137-bed in-patient center and on-site school for medically fragile children.

•Maverick Landing, Boston, Massachusetts: This HOPE VI project in East Boston achieved LEED certification following major redevelopment work that transformed the distressed public housing property into a quality affordable housing resource for the community. The HIT provided over $2 million in 2005 to help finance the $29 million third phase of the project, replacing old and deteriorated housing with 92 new rental units. Maverick Landing was the 2009 winner of the I. Donald Terner Prize, which recognizes successful and innovative affordable housing projects. The award credits Maverick Landing with being “Massachusetts’s first green, affordable multifamily housing development, adhering to healthy homes principles and achieving LEED certification.”

•Excelsior & Grand, St. Louis Park, Minnesota: The Excelsior & Grand mixed-use community just outside Minneapolis was awarded the nation’s first “LEED for Neighborhood Development” certification. The HIT provided $55.5 million in 2001 for the $61.7 million project.

The LEED certification program is a nationally recognized benchmark for measuring the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. It was developed by the United States Green Building Counsel to encourage adoption of sustainable green building and development practices in the United States and around the world.