Fraternity Housing Corporation
Fraternity Housing Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kappa Alpha Order, is involved in the fraternity housing business to assist with the continued development and improvement of chapter housing
For more information, please contact Assistant Executive Director for Alumni Affairs, Brent W. Fellows.
Although Fraternity Housing Corporation may sound like a new name to many KA’s, our founding dates back to 1948. In fact, Practical Founder Samuel Z. Ammen considered chapter houses essential to “fraternal association” as a place where men could feel at home among friends.
Support for the early chapter houses came from alumni who often helped chapters raise funds and care for their houses. In 1905, Alpha Gamma alums organized and then sold stock in the Kappa Alpha Chapter House Company to build a new house at Louisiana State University. At the same time, Alpha Pi at Stanford raised $10,000, incorporated two associations, commissioned plans, and built a house on leased university land. Ironically, the house survived a tremendous earthquake two months later that damaged or destroyed the rest of the fraternity houses on campus.
Despite alumni and even family assistance, chapters often struggled to hold onto and care for their houses, especially after World War II, during which many chapters closed. With the end of WWII came the added demand of thousands of returning soldiers. Therefore, the Order created the Fraternity Housing Corporation, which was established as a corporation in August of 1948. All stock was held by Kappa Alpha Order, which had experienced directors in the Washington D.C. area to manage funds and assets and advise chapters on construction.
In its first five years, FHC helped 27 chapters, including five that were able to build new houses. One of the first successful national college fraternity housing corporations, FHC has, over the years, bought and sold approximately 60 houses, made loans on many others, and helped many chapters with furniture loans. It reached its pinnacle in the mid-60’s, when it held assets exceeding $1 million. By the Centennial in 1965, FHC held title to 21 chapter properties.
With an increasing number of chapters, FHC shifted gears in 1982. Rather than owning the houses itself, the corporation began lending funds to local alumni housing corporations that retained the equity. For a number of years after that, FHC continued to help chapters and their local corporations find suitable properties until the early 90s when the corporation became inactive.
With the recent increase in housing needs across the nation in Kappa Alpha, FHC has been reorganized and reactivated. The Order purchased it’s first house in over 25 years in 2002 at the University of Colorado. In 2003, Fraternity Housing Corporation hired its first-ever Director of Properties, a shared staff member with Delta Delta Delta. That position and partnership has since been dissolved, however FHC remains active today. Recently, the FHC loan to the house at Oklahoma State was paid off. Currently, in 2011, there are active FHC loans to the houses at University of Delaware and at Tulane University.