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HIT Launches Podcast Series, “Community Revitalization the Union Way”
Podcasts discuss benefits of union pension investments in communities

3/24/2017

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) today launched a podcast series, “Community Revitalization the Union Way,” that will discuss the many benefits ranging from job creation to revitalization of neighborhoods that result from the HIT’s multi-million dollar investments in communities across the country.

In the first podcast, which can be downloaded here, COO Ted Chandler explains how the MidWest@Work strategy will form public-private partnerships that will revive neighborhoods in the industrial Midwest. The HIT launched this new initiative last fall in the wake of poverty, unemployment, and housing distress in the region. The initiative aims to spur economic development, build and renovate housing and increase union jobs across the industrial Midwest with a focus on nine cities: Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Detroit, Columbus, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo.

“The industrial Midwest has suffered over the last 30 years from a decline in jobs as union manufacturing has declined as well,” Chandler says, in the podcast. “Today, a lack of flexible financing and capital has really hindered a return to growth in many of the areas of the industrial Midwest, especially when you compare them to the coasts.”

He adds, “We see an opportunity to bring labor’s capital to bear to make a difference where big banks have pulled back on financing in the region.”

In the podcast, Chandler speaks about revitalization work that the MidWest@Work strategy is doing throughout the Midwest as the HIT goes “city to city” to understand the local housing issues and devise plans to address them.