Government Relations is a Member Benefit that Garners Many Cooperative Achievements

Housing Cooperative Victories

Over the years NAHC has had many successful victories legislatively and in the courts. As mentioned in the Report from Washington, a disaster relief bill for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide eligibility for housing cooperatives and condominiums was enacted into law on October 5, 2018. The following are some of the other major victories:

Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loan Guarantee Benefits for Housing Cooperatives

In 2006, Congress passed legislation allowing veterans to use the Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Home Loan Guaranty Program to purchase cooperative housing shares (units) using their low-interest loan benefits. These loan benefits allowed veterans to buy homes with no down payment and limited closing costs. However, the program to allow loans for cooperative housing ended at the end of 2011. In order to allow our nation’s veterans to use the VA loan for all forms of home ownership, we will be reintroducing legislation that would permanently offer this benefit to housing cooperators. To ensure that veterans are aware they can use the loans for cooperative housing shares (units), we are adding a provision so that the secretary of the VA can advertise the program to eligible veterans, participating lenders, and interested realtors.

HUD Assistant for Cooperative Housing

Legislation enacted to create the position of
senior adviser and special assistant for cooperative housing at the Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD) resulted in the 2003 appointment of a point person for cooperative housing issues and policies reporting to the federal housing commissioner. Congress created the special assistant for cooperative housing role so that an appointee reporting directly to the Federal Housing Commissioner could focus on the critical issues facing cooperative housing.

Housing Cooperatives and Subchapter T of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

In 1999, after a long and difficult challenge, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finally agreed to
no longer apply Section 277 of the IRC to housing cooperatives and found that housing cooperatives correctly belong under Subchapter T of the tax code.

Section 277 applies to membership organizations such as country clubs but never should have been applied to housing cooperatives. Interest income on reserve funds and revenue from parking facilities for the use of residents in the building should not be subject to taxation under Section 277 because housing cooperatives have no “net” income when the expenses of operating the cooperative are taken into account.

A cooperative action fund was created to help pay for expenses involved in the fight. NAHC waged an intense battle in Congress to gain support for bills to remedy the problem. Housing cooperators from all over the country contacted their members of Congress resulting in legislation in the House of Representatives and the Senate

to stop the IRS from applying Section 277 to housing cooperatives. One senator even told NAHC he would definitely introduce legislation because they received so many calls on this issue that they were unable to use their phones.

The ultimate victory on Section 277 occurred
in the courts after the 1998 successful decision in the Rutherford Tenants case brought to a successful close a long campaign waged in the courts and in Congress to establish that housing cooperatives are not subject to Section 277 of the IRC.

Looking Forward

NAHC’s success depends on its members. NAHC needs members to respond to NAHC’s “Calls to Action” and to stay informed about the issues. Remember, everyone in Washington wears a hat representing the issues they support. Wear your cooperative hat.

2 Comments

  1. Amy Winters says:

    Thank you for pointing out that government relations is a benefit that garners many cooperative achievements. My sister has been thinking about taking a job in the government. It’s good to know that there are cooperative achievements that are being made.

Leave a Reply

Government Relations is a Member Benefit that Garners Many Cooperative Achievements

Housing Cooperative Victories

Over the years NAHC has had many successful victories legislatively and in the courts. As mentioned in the Report from Washington, a disaster relief bill for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide eligibility for housing cooperatives and condominiums was enacted into law on October 5, 2018. The following are some of the other major victories:

Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loan Guarantee Benefits for Housing Cooperatives

In 2006, Congress passed legislation allowing veterans to use the Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Home Loan Guaranty Program to purchase cooperative housing shares (units) using their low-interest loan benefits. These loan benefits allowed veterans to buy homes with no down payment and limited closing costs. However, the program to allow loans for cooperative housing ended at the end of 2011. In order to allow our nation’s veterans to use the VA loan for all forms of home ownership, we will be reintroducing legislation that would permanently offer this benefit to housing cooperators. To ensure that veterans are aware they can use the loans for cooperative housing shares (units), we are adding a provision so that the secretary of the VA can advertise the program to eligible veterans, participating lenders, and interested realtors.

HUD Assistant for Cooperative Housing

Legislation enacted to create the position of
senior adviser and special assistant for cooperative housing at the Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD) resulted in the 2003 appointment of a point person for cooperative housing issues and policies reporting to the federal housing commissioner. Congress created the special assistant for cooperative housing role so that an appointee reporting directly to the Federal Housing Commissioner could focus on the critical issues facing cooperative housing.

Housing Cooperatives and Subchapter T of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC)

In 1999, after a long and difficult challenge, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finally agreed to
no longer apply Section 277 of the IRC to housing cooperatives and found that housing cooperatives correctly belong under Subchapter T of the tax code.

Section 277 applies to membership organizations such as country clubs but never should have been applied to housing cooperatives. Interest income on reserve funds and revenue from parking facilities for the use of residents in the building should not be subject to taxation under Section 277 because housing cooperatives have no “net” income when the expenses of operating the cooperative are taken into account.

A cooperative action fund was created to help pay for expenses involved in the fight. NAHC waged an intense battle in Congress to gain support for bills to remedy the problem. Housing cooperators from all over the country contacted their members of Congress resulting in legislation in the House of Representatives and the Senate

to stop the IRS from applying Section 277 to housing cooperatives. One senator even told NAHC he would definitely introduce legislation because they received so many calls on this issue that they were unable to use their phones.

The ultimate victory on Section 277 occurred
in the courts after the 1998 successful decision in the Rutherford Tenants case brought to a successful close a long campaign waged in the courts and in Congress to establish that housing cooperatives are not subject to Section 277 of the IRC.

Looking Forward

NAHC’s success depends on its members. NAHC needs members to respond to NAHC’s “Calls to Action” and to stay informed about the issues. Remember, everyone in Washington wears a hat representing the issues they support. Wear your cooperative hat.

2 Comments

  1. Amy Winters says:

    Thank you for pointing out that government relations is a benefit that garners many cooperative achievements. My sister has been thinking about taking a job in the government. It’s good to know that there are cooperative achievements that are being made.

Leave a Reply