MSU Student Housing Cooperative

The Michigan State University Student Housing Cooperative (MSU SHC) is a non-profit organization providing a low-cost housing option for students at MSU and surrounding schools. There are more than 200 members in 15 houses across the East Lansing area. Houses vary from five to 29 members, each with their own character and history. 

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I live in a house now that got hit with a large deficit. I also lived in the house last year, but I can’t pay it all this month. What happens?

The SHC has a policy for late fines with any balance over $100. This late fee can be waived for up to 3 months, but the house deficit must be over $150/person and you must bring it to the Corporate Treasurer to approve. This works like a payment plan for the deficit. 

In summary, the SHC bad debt policy still applies to any balance on your account outside of the specific approved deficit of $150. 

*Please discuss circumstances with your house and/or house treasurer if you wish, but we want to maintain individual accountability.

 

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Do members who currently live in the house--but did not live in the house during the previous contract year--have to pay the deficit?

No worries. You only have to help pay off the deficit if you lived in the house when the house went over budget. Similarly, you won’t receive a surplus check if you did not live in the house when the house stayed under budget.

Why does the audit process take so long?

The house audit starts after the previous year* closes, i.e. the school year 2015/16 will be audited after the 2016/17 school year starts Sept 1, 2016. We have to wait until October 2016 to be sure we have all the receipts and reconciliations in. Then we ask each House Treasurer to approve the deficit or surplus before we can send the checks to members. We also verify each member’s address before we send the checks (so confirm it with us first!)


*The Fiscal Year for the Student Housing Cooperative (Sept 1 - Aug 31) is not the same as the calendar year (Jan 1 - Dec 31). It’s similar to the school year calendar.

Why do I have to wait for the house audit to get my shares back?

The shares you purchase(d) when you sign a contract in the SHC office make you an owner in your house. Those shares are also used to buffer the cost of a house deficit, should that happen. Money can also be added to your shares if your house has a surplus. Until the audit is finished, we don’t know if your house has a surplus or deficit.

I've never been audited before. How does it work?

It’s not a personal audit, but as a member of the house, you have an impact on the future of the house when you:

  • turn in receipts on time to your finance officer (so timely information can be shared to see if you’re on track for a deficit or surplus)

  • sign off on your house budget and any adjustments over the semester

  • as a house, contribute to house savings (part of your budget)

  • conserve resources

  • as a house, pay back a previous house surplus to the SHC (who gave it back to previous house members already)

What is the purpose of the house audit?

The House Audit determines whether a house stayed within budget during the fiscal year (Sep 1 - Aug 31). If a house went over budget (had too many expenses and not enough house charges), this is called a deficit. It takes money away from the house account and can affect future contract years.  If the house was under their budget (paid more house charges than expenses), this is called a surplus. The members paid more than what was spent, so this money is paid back to its members.