BOSTON — * In 1964, then AFL-CIO President George Meany started a pension investment program that put money into the construction of affordable housing in America's inner cities.
In the intervening 30 years, 20,000 jobs and 30,000 housing units have been built, says Marcie Cohen, the AFL-CIO's director of affordable housing.
The union federation's Housing Investment Trust has proposed expanding the program from last year's $68 million to a $500-million investment over the next five years.
The AFL-CIO fund expects that its $500 million will be matched by an additional $500 million from other private and public sources.
From the $1 billion total financing (to be used in 25 cities), the fund projects that 10,000 to 12,000 affordable housing units and 10,000 to 15,000 new construction jobs will be created.