Center for Social Welfare under the American Constitutions

  

                                                           May 2008 Update -- Online Edition

 

Since February, when we reported to many of you on revisions to the business plan based on your comments, the Center has achieved several significant objectives.

 

                                                      Section 501(c)(3) Application

 

On March 12, the Center filed a 110-page application with the IRS for recognition of the Center=s status as a tax-exempt public charity, under IRC Section 501(c)(3). The application included a copy of the business plan and legal memorandum on exclusionary housing policies, in order to respond fully to the IRS=s questions about applicants= planned legislative and other activities. The other 35 pages gave the required:

 

(1)  financial history and projections;

(2)  explanation of compensation and other financial arrangements with officers, directors, employees, and certain others;

(3)  duties, qualifications, and hours worked for all persons proposed to be compensated above $50,000 per year;

(4)  attachments such as incorporation documents, form electing to have legislative activities measured by expenditure limits of IRC Section 501(h), etc.

 

The Center requested an advance ruling giving it provisional tax-exempt status. On March 27, the IRS wrote that the Center may expect to be contacted within approximately 60 days as to whether our application will be approved without additional development. A copy of any or all of the application, and other Center documents, is available on request.

 

                                                        Conflict of Interest Policy

 

Among the documents submitted with the Section 501(c)(3) application was a Conflict of Interest Policy (copy attached) formulated by the Board of Directors. It governs any contemplated transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of any officer, director, or committee member of the Center. (No such transactions or arrangements are contemplated other than employment of Director Tom Loftus as President and General Counsel.) Each person covered by the policy will be required to sign an Annual Conflict of Interest Statement (copy attached).

 

                         Discussions with other affordable housing legal services groups

 

In late April, the Center started sending out letters of introduction to other nonprofit legal services groups in the Washington, D.C., area, that deal with affordable housing issues. (Kevin Walsh of the Fair Share Housing Center in New Jersey kindly referred us to several of those groups.) By communicating with such groups, the Center hopes to:


(1)  broaden its knowledge of the people, issues, and strategies currently involved in affordable housing legal services for lower-income Americans;

(2)  explore possible collaboration with such groups to achieve common goals; and

(3)  get feedback about the Center=s ideas and plans.

 

Although we have given those groups extensive materials to review (a condensed version of the business plan and a revised memorandum on legal remedies for exclusionary housing policies), we are beginning to get feedback. On May 27, we will meet with David Rusk, a leading expert on affordable housing issues, who is based in Washington, D.C. He is affiliated with numerous affordable housing groups and is Avery enthusiastic about [the] proposed center.@

 

 

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We will try to keep you informed with periodic updates. Thank you very much for your interest in the Center.

    

Center for Social Welfare under the American Constitutions

P.O. Box 2176

Vienna, VA  22183