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MITFCU Might Have to Start Paying Rent Under Proposed Payment Plan

By JuliÁn E. Villarreal

A rental plan proposed by MIT would force the MIT Federal Credit Union to begin paying rent for space that it currently occupies rent-free.

Under the proposed lease agreement, MITFCU would be charged for its current space in Building E19, should it choose to remain there. The rent payment plan is still under discussion, and MITFCU has not yet decided if it will stay on campus and pay for the space.

MIT Comptroller James L. Morgan also said that no decision has been made for the amount of rent payments or the specific details that a rent plan would entail. But, Morgan said, if the credit union wishes to stay on campus, they will definitely be paying rent.

“Being charged rent would be an additional expense we [would] incur,” said MITFCU Chief Executive Officer Brian W. Ducharme.

The MIT Federal Credit Union, which was established in 1940, is only loosely affiliated with MIT. Under a lease agreement that was established four years ago, the credit union pays rent for space in Building E39, which houses its lending center, but does not pay rent for space in Building E19.

Rent may negatively affect FCU

The credit union is a not-for-profit organization; an added expense such as rent payment could negatively affect the business that MITFCU conducts with the MIT community and the services it provides, Ducharme said. He said the MIT Comptroller’s Accounting Office approached the credit union with the plan.

Ducharme would not speculate about the possible effects the plan would have upon the credit union’s clientele because he said that the credit union has not been approached with a rent offer. He did say, however, that in general, added expenses could result in increased interest rates on loans or decreased dividends on savings accounts.

Morgan said that the current discussions are for additional space. “They’re looking to make their space more functional,” Morgan said.

He said that the credit union wants to consolidate its space in Building E39 with the space it occupies in the E19 corridor.

MIT wants ‘fair share’ to be paid

Morgan said that MIT is in discussions with the credit union because MIT feels it is necessary for entities that occupy space on campus to pay their “fair share” of costs associated with that space. Most non-MIT-affiliated entities that are on campus already operate under rent arrangements, he said, and some others are currently in discussions about space rental plans.