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Latest AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust Project to Supply $32M, Create Union Jobs and Affordable Housing for the Elderly


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A major rehabilitation project of the 2101 Michigan Building in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood will receive backing from the AFL-CIO’s Housing Investment Trust (HIT) and create 245 union construction jobs.  The 26-story, 250-unit residence will undergo a $42 million makeover, $32 million of which will be derived from HIT pension capital.  Upon completion, the residence will have a new lobby, community room, on-site laundry facility and the individual apartments will be renovated with new heating and cooling units and energy -efficient appliances.  

HIT Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Stephanie H. Wiggins explains the projects significance:

“As older downtown neighborhoods experience growth with the corresponding demand for housing, it’s very important to preserve and update existing units whenever possible.  The HIT’s investment in 2101 South Michigan will help ensure that quality housing near Chicago’s downtown Loop, with its employment opportunities and other amenities, remains available to individuals and families at all income levels.”

The building was built in 1971 with financial assistance from the Federal Housing Administration.  Now, 90 percent of the building’s units are subsidized through a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract administered by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA).  39 of the units are set aside for residents over the age of 62.  The renovation will also include a long-term HAP contract that will allow the residences to be affordable for the next 20 years.  All work done on the renovation will be done under collective bargaining agreements with the area’s trade unions.

According to Tom Villanova, president of the Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council, “The jobs are important to our members at a time when unemployment is still much too high.  We appreciate the HIT’s continuing commitment to Chicago, and we look forward to helping improve the quality of housing on the Near South Side.”

Lesyllee White, HIT’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Marketing, provides background on the organization’s work:

HIT’s union pension investments have helped address the housing and economic development needs of working families in the Chicago area.  The HIT has financed the production of housing for low- and moderate-income families, while also generating union construction jobs. This is having a significant impact on working families. HIT is actively targeting Chicago to fund more income- and job-generating investments in 2013.”


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