A big infusion of union pension funds could provide a lot of home mortgages.

So the AFL-CIO is prodding its unions to invest hundreds of millions of dollars of pension-fund reserves in long-term mortgage money for single-family housing. The federation has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to permit a new investment trust that would use funds furnished by many of its 102 affiliate unions.

AFL-CIO sees a double benefit: More mortgages available at lower interest rates and more jobs for union workers in construction and durable goods. A decision from the SEC is expected in three to six months.

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