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HIT Honors Construction Workers Building Affordable Housing in Washington, DC

6/29/2017

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) hosted a worker appreciation lunch at the construction site of Portner Flats in Northwest Washington, DC. Workers are building a new $43 million apartment building with 96 affordable units, which the HIT is helping to finance with its $24 million investment of union capital. The project is creating approximately 210 construction jobs. More than 150 people attended the luncheon. Construction workers were joined by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, HIT staff, Building Trades leadership, developer representatives, Prudential Mortgage Capital Company, and D.C. Housing Finance Agency and D.C. Housing and Community Development directors. Appreciation luncheons are HIT’s way of thanking construction workers on its projects for their quality work.

HIT Executive Vice President Eric Price welcomed the guests, saying “We believe that finding new, creative ways to finance affordable housing is key to expanding the supply of quality affordable housing in urban areas.” He added, “The HIT applauds Mayor Bowser and her team for supporting this development, as well as the construction workers who are making this project a reality.”

Portner Flats is an eight-story, 96-unit, 100% affordable housing development built on the former site of Portner Place, a dilapidated 48-unit Section 8 housing development. The development team is a partnership between Somerset Development, the Jonathan Rose Companies, and New Community Partners.

“This is an example of what public-private partnerships can produce when everyone works together for a just cause,” said Mayor Bowser, noting that the D.C. Housing Finance Agency and the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development aided in the financing and acquisition of the property to launch the project. The District also rezoned the site for increased density, allowing for the new building to accommodate twice the number of affordable units.

“I applaud the men and women of the building trades who are building quality affordable housing in one of the District’s most expensive neighborhoods” said Brent Booker, Secretary Treasurer of North America’s Building Trades Unions.

Jim Campbell, founding principal at Somerset Development noted, “It has been a privilege to work with the residents of Portner Place to create housing that is responsive to their needs.” He added, “We hope it will serve as a model for maintaining diversity and increasing the quality of life in other high cost areas.”

To hear the speakers from the event, please visit: https://medium.com/@AFLCIOHIT/dc-mayor-bowser-and-afl-cio-hit-honor-construction-workers-building-affordable-housing-in-u-street-36b8ceea8197

You can also view the event, which was livestreamed, at: https://twitter.com/aflciohit/status/880449424538820609