WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) has asked housing expert and Vietnam veteran Thomas J. O’Malley to serve as the Director of its Veterans Housing Initiative. In this capacity, Mr. O’Malley will lead a new initiative to expand housing opportunities for America’s veterans, including the estimated 131,000 veterans who are homeless on any given night and the 300,000 who have been homeless during this year.
“It is shameful that several hundred thousand men and women who risked their lives to preserve our liberty and way of live are now abandoned on the streets of America’s communities,” said HIT Chief Executive Officer Stephen Coyle in announcing the move. “Our nation cannot let these veterans down.”
Mr. O’Malley, a veteran of the Vietnam War, will head the HIT’s efforts to finance the development of affordable multifamily housing serving former members of the military. Mr. O’Malley will also work with veterans’ service organizations to assess the housing programs currently available to veterans and recommend ways to make these programs more effective.
“As a socially responsible investor, the HIT has a long record of financing the development of high quality affordable housing,” said Mr. O’Malley. “Several of the projects in the HIT’s current investment pipeline will offer affordable housing for veterans. We intend to make use of the HIT’s housing expertise to substantially increase these important investments.”
Mr. O’Malley added, “As a union member who grew up in a union household, I look forward to working with the AFL-CIO’s new Union Veterans Council.”
Mr. O’Malley brings to his new position significant experience in housing finance. Since 2006, he has served as Director of the Gulf Coast office of the AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation, where he has provided technical support to redevelopment efforts in the region following Hurricane Katrina. He previously had a 15-year career at the Boston Redevelopment Authority, where he was most recently Director of Finance and prior to that Director for Housing and Community Development.
Earlier, Mr. O’Malley worked for Urban Edge Housing Corporation, one of Boston’s largest non-profit housing development entities. In these positions, Mr. O’Malley has gained a broad background in finance and housing, which should enhance the HIT’s efforts to source affordable housing for veterans. As a disabled veteran and cancer survivor, Mr. O’Malley has particular interest in the medical services that veterans receive. His disability is a result of his exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.
“We’re pleased to have someone with Tom’s vast experience become our housing czar for our nation’s veterans,” Mr. Coyle said. “I’m confident that he will make a difference in the lives of the men and women who have fought for our nation.”
Approximately 2.1 million union members, or 14% of the union workforce, are veterans of military service.
The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust is a core-plus, fixed-income investment company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The HIT has over $3.6 billion in assets under management for 350 investors, including Taft-Hartley and public employee retirement plans. The HIT invests primarily in high credit quality fixed-income investments such as multifamily and single family mortgage-backed securities. The HIT has never invested in securities backed by subprime mortgages. The investment objective of the HIT is to provide competitive returns for its investors and to promote collateral objectives such as the construction of housing and the generation of employment for union members in construction and related industries. Since its inception, the HIT has invested over $5 billion to finance more than 86,000 units of housing nationwide, generating 60,000 union jobs.
Michael K. Frisby
SOURCE AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust