State Treasurer Joseph D. Malone last week announced a new program designed to invest a teacher pension fund in a fund designed to provide state residents with more affordable multifamily housing units.

The program will be a joint venture between the Local Initiatives Managed Assets Corp. and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., or Freddie Mac, according to Treasury spokeswoman Karen Serieka.

The authorities will manage a pool of $50 million from the Massachusetts State Teachers' and Employees' Retirement System trust.

"I am happy to present this next component of our Economically Targeted Investment program," Mr. Malone said. "This initiative is a win-win-win situation for the state of Massachusetts."

Mr. Malone said the program will allow pension fund participants to benefit from competitive returns on the equivalent of a AAA-rated investment and provide communities with "clean, safe, affordable places to live and raise families."

Under the program, local lenders who make loans for affordable multifamily and cooperative housing development may sell the loans to the Local Initiatives Managed Assets Corp., which will pool the loans and resell them to Freddie Mac.

The treasurer's office will invest in the Freddie Mac securities formed from the loan pools.

Mr. Malone said this is the first such program in the country.

The boards of directors of two Lowell, Mass.. hospitals voted unanimously late Thursday evening to approve a merger.

The merger of St. Joseph's and St. John's hospitals was thrown into uncertain when Gov. William F. Weld vetoed an outside portion of the state's fiscal 1993 budget that would forgive St. John's of $6 million in Medicaid overcharges.

However, last week both houses of the state legislature overrode the governor's veto, paving the way for construction of a new medical facility.

"We're looking at an Oct. 1 opening," said James H. Frame, president of St. Joseph's Hospital. "All that's left for us to do is file our determination of need with the Department of Public Health and get bondholders' approval."

Mr. Frame said that neither he nor Dr. Daniel J. O'Conner, president of St. John's, sees any problem gaining swift approval from either group.

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