BOSTON >> Unions representing construction workers in Boston have agreed to work for lower pay on projects that will provide more affordable rental housing.

The Metropolitan Building Trades Council, which includes plumbers, painters, and electrical workers, is setting up units to specialize in apartment construction. Those units would be paid about one-third less than the unions' standard commercial rates in exchange for the projects being 100 percent union.

Trades council head Brian Doherty tells The Boston Globe there is a dire need for more affordable housing in the region and his group wants to be part of the solution.

The region's carpenters' union has been working under a similar model for decades.

Developers have long complained that construction costs, along with permitting and the cost of land in Boston, make building affordable housing difficult.

Information from: The Boston Globe,