Four of the five New York City pension funds have voted to invest $500 million in residential and commercial real estate, focused in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, city Comptroller John Liu announced Wednesday.

The fifth fund, the New York City Fire Department Pension Fund, is expected to act on the investment Thursday.

With leverage, it could result in a $1.5 billion capital infusion for potentially 3,000 units of housing and 150,000 to 200,000 square feet of commercial space, according to Liu’s office.

“The $1.5 billion rebuilding program will become the bricks and mortar neighborhoods need to rebuild from Sandy’s wrath,” Liu said.

Liu’s Bureau of Asset Management has worked since Sandy struck on Oct. 29 to bring together the Pension Funds’ capital and local real estate developers to assist in rebuilding stricken neighborhoods.

The $500 million will provide the needed equity for the projects, which are expected to use about $1 billion of additional loans toward the total $1.5 billion in Sandy-related building projects.

 Projects will materialize within months as the money is invested in repairs and construction over three years. According to Liu, selected projects will concentrate on the outer boroughs.

The funds will provide Related Cos. and Hudson Cos. with $300 million and $200 million, respectively, through new partnerships. Liu’s office said they expect the funds to return earn a risk-adjusted market rate of return on the investments.

The New York City Pension Funds consist of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System, New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Pension Fund and the Board of Education Retirement System.

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