III. Membership

§1. Membership.

Membership in the Corporation shall consist of natural persons of good character and financial responsibility who enter into a Mutual Ownership Contract (MOC) with the Corporation, or a revocable living trust where the person(s) who established the trust meets the above standards.   A not-for-profit institution, or living trust, if approved by the Board of Directors to enter into a MOC with the Corporation, must comply with the financial and good character responsibilities and will hold one membership regardless of the number of units it occupies. A revocable living trust is permitted to hold a Membership in the Corporation only for so long as the persons(s) who established the trust is a living natural person(s) and is approved for membership.  Promptly after the death of the person(s) who established the revocable living trust, the Membership held by the trust must be transferred to a new owner approved by the Board of Directors.  Only one person per dwelling unit may be a member of the Corporation except that a married couple or other persons specifically authorized by the Board of Directors may hold a membership jointly. The Corporation subscribes to the equal housing opportunity laws of the State of Maryland and the United States.

§2. Enrollment.

A person seeking membership in the Corporation shall file an application for membership on a form prescribed by the Board of Directors and shall pay (1) an application fee determined by the Board of Directors to be sufficient to cover the cost of determining the acceptability of applicants as members of the Corporation, and (2) a membership fee determined by the Board of Directors to be sufficient to cover the cost of processing sales and resales of Rights of Perpetual Use. The membership shall become effective, when, after having been approved by the Board of Directors, the applicant and the Corporation enter into a Mutual Ownership Contract. If the Board rejects an application or fails to act upon it within two months from the date of the submission of the application, and if the applicant desires further consideration of his or her application, the applicant shall request it from the Board. If the Board rejects the application on such appeal, the applicant may appeal at the next annual membership meeting. The application fee shall not be refunded in any event, but the membership fee shall be refunded without interest in all cases where for any reason the membership does not become effective. A member transferring from one unit to another will pay a transfer fee set by the Board of Directors sufficient to cover the cost of transfer.

§3. Privileges of Members.

Members of the Corporation shall be permitted to attend meetings of the Board of Directors and shall be excluded from such meetings only if the Board by a three-fourths vote should enter into an executive session.  Any consideration of contracts in Executive Session requires prior public announcement of the nature and scope of the contracts by printed and electronic means as soon as practicable.  The Board shall not make policy decisions in Executive Session, but may decide in such sessions matters affecting individual members, employees, pending litigation, or contract negotiations. All members of the Corporation shall have the right to inspect and copy the record of the names and addresses of all members of the Corporation at any time during regular office hours of the Corporation, provided that such member asking to examine and/or copy the list shall sign a statement that the list will not be used for a purpose other than for contacts with members covering business concerning the Corporation. All members of the Corporation shall have the right to inspect and copy the approved minutes of the Board of Directors (excluding minutes of any meeting held in executive session) at all reasonable times and under reasonable regulations established by the Board of Directors.

§4. Termination of Membership.

  1. The membership of a person shall terminate upon the effective date of the cancellation or termination of a Mutual Ownership Contract in accordance with the provisions of the paragraphs thereof entitled, "Option of Corporation (or "GHI") to Repurchase Perpetual Use", "Sale to Others", "Option of Member to Terminate Contract", or "Termination of Contract by Corporation (or "GHI") for Default or for Cause".

  2. Except where memberships are terminated because of payment default by members of the Corporation, the Board of Directors (by a two-thirds vote of the entire Board, and after a fair formal hearing if requested by the member) may terminate any membership for reasons provided for in the Mutual Ownership Contract with the Corporation. Any notification to the member which states that the Board is considering termination of his or her membership shall include the text of this subsection. At the formal hearing, the member may have counsel, invite witnesses, and question any witnesses and complainants. The member shall have the right to appeal the decision of the Board of Directors to the membership at a special membership meeting called by the Board of Directors or at the next annual membership meeting. The Board of Directors shall schedule the meeting at which the appeal will be heard. If the member notifies the Board of his or her intention to appeal within ten days of receipt of notice of termination by the Board, the Board's action shall be stayed pending final action at the special or annual membership meeting.

  3. The Board of Directors may terminate membership for non-payment of loans secured by a member's interest in the Corporation upon such terms and conditions as have been agreed to and accepted in writing by the member, the lender, and GHI.

  4. If a membership is terminated by the Corporation because of member's default or for cause, the Corporation shall be reimbursed for all costs and expenses resulting from the termination, including but not limited to all administrative costs and all third party expenses of the Corporation incurred in retaking, repairing, selling, and otherwise disposing of the dwelling unit. The Corporation may deduct its costs and expenses resulting from termination from the proceeds of a sale of the member's interest in the Corporation prior to the member's receipt of any such proceeds.

 §5. Membership Requirement to Hold Office.

Only a member of the Corporation, at least twenty-one years of age, and a GHI resident may be a director of the Corporation or a member of a committee elected by the membership.  Only one member from a unit may hold elected office at a time.