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LOS ANGELES-Some of the largest public pension funds in Los Angeles have committed $65 million toward building work force housing in a public-private partnership involving Genesis Workforce Housing Fund II, a private fund managed by Phoenix Realty Group that will reach $150 million when fully invested. City and private officials including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa say the fund was a response to the defeat in the recent election of Measure H, a bond issue that would have provided funds for affordable housing.

The new fund is earmarked to create housing developments for middle-income families across the Los Angeles area. The fund managers and investors cite the need for such projects to provide housing for teachers, firefighters, nurses and other workers.

The pension funds that made the financial commitments include the Los Angeles City Employees Retirement System, Los Angeles County Employee Retirement Association and Los Angeles Department of Fire and Police Pensions. The Genesis Workforce Housing Fund II follows Phoenix Realty Group’s $103-million Genesis Workforce Housing Fund, also known as Genesis I, which launched in March 2003.

Genesis I, focusing solely on for-sale and rental housing for the middle-income work force in the L.A. area, has already invested in more than a dozen for-sale and rental projects. The new Genesis II fund, when fully invested at $150 million, will supply 2,250 housing units valued at $750 million across the Los Angeles region.

The for-sale housing will be aimed at first-time buyers earning from 80% to 200% of the region’s median income. Among the for-sale projects funded by Genesis I was Puerta del Sol, a 165-unit condominium loft development where the city and Genesis officials announced the new fund Wednesday.

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