The USDA’s Rural Cooperatives magazine published a feature article on NAHC in the July/August issue. The article discusses the mission and focus of NAHC as they relate to cooperatives both rural and urban. It also explores the current legislative and regulatory issues NAHC is focused on and how a political presence can further benefit the cooperative community.
See article below:
NAHC Leading Advocate to Address Needs of Nation’s Housing Co-Ops
Incorporated in 1960, the National Association of Housing Cooperatives (NAHC) is a 501(c)(3) organization and the only national cooperative housing organization in the United States. NAHC’s mission is to support, educate and represent professionals, organizations and individuals interested in promoting the interests of cooperative housing communities as the best and most economical form of homeownership. NAHC is supported and governed by its members. The membership is represented through a national board of directors, which guides the policies of the organization. At the annual business meeting, major issues are brought before the entire membership.
NAHC members include:
- Associations and federations of housing cooperatives organized around a special-interest and/or a geographic region (member associations);
- Individual housing cooperatives;
- Organizations and professionals that provide services to housing cooperatives, such as attorneys, property management firms, nonprofit organizations, financial organizations, accountants, government agencies, and consultants;
- Groups and individuals that develop housing cooperatives;
- Registered Cooperative Managers (RCMs);
- Other individuals and organizations interested in housing cooperatives.
NAHC and its affiliates work on behalf of the 1.5 million families living in cooperative housing in the United States to promote the development of housing cooperatives through research, education, forums and other means. The following are NAHC’s current chief objectives:
- Encourage best practices in the operation of housing cooperatives to ensure maximum long-term benefits to their owner-occupants and to sustain their cooperatives;
- Develop programs and services to benefit, strengthen and improve member organizations;
- Promote the development of other self-help activities among members of housing cooperatives.
NAHC’s government relations program advocates for housing cooperatives with officials in Washington, D.C., in federal agencies and state legislatures. NAHC has accomplished many goals to promote cooperative home ownership, such as the American Homeownership and Economic Opportunity Act and the Bankruptcy Reform Bill. NAHC monitors issues, updates and involves members on current legislation and topics of concern.
Among NAHC’s legislative initiatives is encouraging the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to extend reverse mortgages to cooperative housing owners. It continues to support FHA’s work to expand opportunities for working families and to enhance the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. And through NAHC’s partnership with Wells Fargo, it successfully launched a new service for our members: the opportunity to buy hazard and liability insurance.
Although the majority of NAHC members are in urban areas, it is crucial to the success of NAHC to work with the other cooperative organizations, especially on congressional issues. NAHC has lobbied on behalf of rural issues with New York City members of Congress and rural cooperatives have been helpful when we need to reach members of congress from rural districts. Organizations such as the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) have helped NAHC reach a wider audience with the rural community.
One of the current issues NAHC is focused on is a FEMA Disaster Relief for housing cooperatives. The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) has extended its support as many of its members are from rural areas. The National Cooperative Bank (NCB) has also been very supportive of NAHC’s efforts and approach.
Today, as coalition building becomes increasingly crucial to success in the nation’s capital, so too does NAHC’s alliance with other organizations. Recently, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York asked NAHC about other organizations that support NAHC’s VA loan guarantee issue, which he is working on legislation for. The Consumer Federation of America, NCB and NCBA have all expressed support for NAHC’s issues and this legislation as well. NAHC will continue to partner with organizations and legislators with shared interests to achieve the most successes for its members and stakeholder in the future.
NAHC will be holding the Annual Conference in South Carolina at Hilton Head Island October 14- 17 2015.