Los Angeles, CA
AFL-CIO sponsored Investment Trusts have completed 35 successful years investing union pension funds. When the AFL-CIO launched this program in 1965, union-directed investment was just a bold idea. In taking that innovative step, the Federation laid the groundwork not only for today's AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust and Building Investment Trust, but also for the broader capital stewardship initiative which is advancing the interests of the union movement through the stewardship of labor's capital.
The AFL-CIO Investment Trusts have achieved impressive results. With more than $3.6 billion under management, they have gained national recognition as leaders in pension investment.
These prudent investments leverage significant collateral benefits for working families. In the last decade alone, the Trusts generated over 40 million hours of union construction work as well as union jobs for the members of 19 AFL-CIO unions in the servicing, maintenance and permanent operations of properties. At the same time, the Trusts added 40,000 housing units and 10 million square feet of commercial development to the communities where union members live and work, helping to revitalize those communities and increase the supply of needed affordable housing.
The AFL-CIO Investment Trusts are now implementing important new initiatives. The Housing Investment Trust's HIT HOME program provides another attractive mortgage option for union home buyers in targeted cities. A planned restructuring will make the Building Investment Trust even more attractive to investors and expand the impact of pension investments in local communities. The new AFL-CIO Urban Development Fund will focus on major development projects in urban communities, providing a significant additional investment option for pension plans with union beneficiaries. Finally, the AFL-CIO Investment Trusts are proposing a new Economic Development Clearinghouse, through which union-friendly real estate investment funds will expand opportunities for the more efficient placement of union investment capital.
The AFL-CIO reaffirms its support of the AFL-CIO Investment Trusts. Our affiliates' support throughout the past 35 years has been fundamental to the success of the Investment Trusts. We commend the new initiatives which will provide important new investment options for the retirement plans of our members.