The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust announced Monday that it is providing $90 million towards rehabilitating and preserving the Blackstone Apartments and Franklin Square House Apartments in Boston.
Work on the two important affordable housing options for elderly and handicapped residents will generate approximately 150 union construction jobs.
The Blackstone Apartments in Boston’s West End and Franklin Square House Apartments in the South End have been rental properties for over 30 years. The HIT’s investment in the two projects through the purchase of MassHousing bonds and notes will help refinance existing debt to keep the 338 housing units affordable for low-income residents for an additional 20 years. It also makes possible substantial rehabilitation work to improve their livability and accessibility, make them more energy efficient, and bring certain elements up to code. The two projects represent $148 million in total development costs.
All work on the Blackstone Apartments and Franklin Square House Apartments will be performed under collective bargaining agreements with local building and construction trades unions.
The Blackstone and Franklin Square House Apartments are the latest of seven Boston projects that the trust has helped finance under its Construction Jobs Initiative, creating over 1,900 union construction jobs in the city and more than 13,500 jobs nationally to help keep union members working at a time of high unemployment in the construction industry.
The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust is a fixed-income investment company that manages $4.4 billion in assets for more than 350 investors, which include union and public employee pension plans.