Directors' Code of Ethics

The board of directors, elected by the membership to serve our housing cooperative, Greenbelt Homes, Inc., is to act as a trusted agent and decision maker for the members' collective interest. The code of ethics developed here is a tool to used by each board member to guide and inspire actions and decision. This document has been adapted from the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives.

I. Director's Responsibility to the Cooperative
A director has a duty of good faith and responsibility to the cooperative. This means that:

  1. While acting in his or her official capacity, a director shall act in the best interests of the cooperative.
  2. A director shall be diligent to ensure that the cooperative's interests are pursued during the meetings of the board of directors.
  3. A director shall not use the position for personal profit, gain, or other personal advantage over other member shareholders of the cooperative.
  4. A director shall not commit fraud or breach of fiduciary duty in the conduct of the cooperative's affairs.
    1. A director should not advance his or her personal interests while in official session at the expense of the cooperative.
    2. A director should not make personal attacks on other directors, staff, or member shareholders while performing official duties. Discussion should be directed to the issue, and not to the person who raises an opposing point of view.
    3. A director shall not accept commissions or rebates that belong to the cooperative for his or her personal gain.

To carry out this duty, here are some guiding rules to follow:

II. Honesty and Good Faith
A director has a duty to use care, skill, and diligence when carrying out official acts. This means that:

  1. A director shall act honestly and in good faith, in a manner reasonably believed to be in the best interests of the cooperative, and with the care that a prudent person in a similar position would use under similar circumstances.
  2. A director shall use his or her best efforts to keep apprised of legislation or regulations that affect the cooperative.
  3. A director shall seek the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions in areas in which the director does not feel competent.
  4. A director shall serve the interests of all member shareholders impartially and without bias.
  5. A director shall advocate that the cooperative comply with applicable laws, codes, contracts, and agreements to which the cooperative is bound.
    1. A director is expected to make a diligent effort to become trained and skilled in the business of cooperative housing in such areas as finance, membership sale values, GHI rules, governance, and oversight.
    2. A director is expected to obtain a working knowledge of laws that regulate the cooperative, such as fair housing and minimum code restrictions that affect the cooperative and its operations.
    3. A director is entitled to rely upon information and reports presented by officers or other employees of the cooperative whom the director reasonably believes to be reliable and competent.
    4. A director is entitled to rely upon legal opinions, financial statements, and other information relating to matters that the director reasonably believes to be within the expertise of the person preparing the information.