Stephen Coyle

Stephen Coyle

Labor Guild Board of Directors

Former Chief Executive Officer AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust

Cushing-Gavin Awards Logo

Cushing-Gavin Award Recipient

Management Award, 2018

Steve Coyle served as CEO of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust from 1992 until he stepped down last month. Over 26 years, Steve and his capable team built HIT into one of the nation’s most significant Impact Investing groups. Using union pension funds, HIT provides the critical investment capital to build the low- and moderate-income housing vital to rebuilding American communities—and all built union.

In countless ways, Massachusetts is significantly better that Steve Coyle came our way. As BRA Director, he spearheaded billions of investment dollars in Boston’s regeneration, including the Charlestown Navy Yard’s massive redevelopment. In Greater Boston, HIT’s directed $578 million to 46 low- and moderate-income housing projects resulting in 5,315 housing and healthcare units. Some were the Archdiocese’s Office of Urban Planning projects. The total development cost of all 46 projects is $1.6 billion, creating an estimated 1.7 billion of union construction man hours. That’s a legacy.

Nationally, HIT underwrote 436 projects on Steve’s watch. Since 1992, HIT has invested nearly $9 billion dollars in 27 states and 147 cities, creating 65,800 on-site union construction jobs that built 93,857 housing units. The HIT has delivered great results for its investors and for American communities—including Greater Boston.

Of his 40 years career, Steve notes “Every job I’ve ever had has been a great job,” His expertise in housing production and finance, economic development, and urban planning deepened with each new role, including:

  • Director, Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) – 1984-1992
  • Executive Vice President at a national architectural and planning HIT from 1981 to 1984 in San Francisco
  • Deputy Undersecretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), 
  • Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 
  • Executive Director of the Waltham, and later, the Dedham Housing Authorities 
  • Waltham City Council Member (1970 to 1977)

He played a key role bringing major economic development to Derry in North West Ireland (65 million pounds for the Foyle Center), and the creation of the successful micro-Lending Program “Ulster Community Investment Fund,” which provided over $80 million to 380 community organizations in Northern Ireland.

Steve graduated from Brandeis University, earned his master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Ulster University in recognition of his support for economic regeneration and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland.

Steve was the eleventh of 14 children in South Boston, when the family moved to Waltham, a town he quickly made his own. While running for the Waltham City Council, Steve met and wed a dazzling Brandeis coed Maria Chaffee (Miss Massachusetts 1967) who is also an accomplished attorney. The Coyles have three children: Will, Lisa and Elena, and four grandchildren: Evan (9), Elise (7), Maria (6) and Julia (3).