May 3, 2010

Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act Report

Lory Fraraccio-Kenney (Eta Gamma-Akron)
Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act Delegate

I had the distinct honor of representing Alpha Phi along with Aliza Fishbein from John’s Hopkins and several delegates from the Greek community on Tuesday April 20th to discuss the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act. Collectively, we met with over 430 Congressional leaders to discuss how the bill could benefit non-university owned non-profit housing during this 2010 Greek Congressional Visit.

A bit of background on the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA); a quirk in the tax laws allows colleges and universities to use charitable contributions to build and maintain student housing while preventing other not-for-profit student housing entities from doing the same thing. CHIA erases this disparity, allowing tax deductible contributions to not-for-profit student housing entities such as fraternity and sorority foundations to be used for the same purposes. Fraternities and sororities provide housing for over 250,000 students each year at no cost to the host institution. This $3 billion dollar segment of the not-for-profit housing industry needs CHIA to become law so it can fund safety and structural improvements. As an example, installing automatic sprinkler systems saves lives - there has never been a fire-related fatality in fraternal housing that has sprinklers.

We shared how the passage of this bill will bring down the cost of housing on college campuses as room and board for a college student is a critical factor regarding the cost of obtaining a college degree. And with roughly $1 billion in projects “shovel ready”, we also shared how the passage of this bill will help increase jobs across the country.

On that day I’ve never felt more American or more Fraternal as two Congressional Leaders I met with became co-sponsors of the Bill, Congressman John Boccieri (D-Ohio) and our own Alpha Phi Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). This experience is one I will cherish and remember for a lifetime!

With Alpha Phi love and mine,
Lory Fraraccio-Kenney
Alpha Phi Fraternity Chapter Advisor

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