HOA, condo, co-op corruption, fraud, & theft roundup (Dec. 2017)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities This month’s roundup includes not only arrests and/or convictions of former association managers and board members, but also a conviction resulting from massive mortgage fraud.  Also, an interesting video explaining “red collar crime,” violent retaliation meant to silence whistleblowers.  State Attorney: Bryceville woman guilty of stealing $1.5 million from …

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Unaccountable developers create big problems for condo, homeowner associations

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Let’s talk about one of the most glaring unintended consequences of enabling real estate developers to control residential communities large and small: no accountability to housing consumers. Allow me to explain. Prior to the 1980s and 1990s, a buyer could purchase a new home from a builder without …

Cities overrule HOAs that restrict access, activities in public parks

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Homeowners and residents don’t always agree with the rules and management decisions in their association-governed communities. Conflict and HOA lawsuits are fairly common, but mostly invisible to those who do not reside in a covenant-controlled neighborhood. But sometimes an HOA opposes city government. And there’s a bit of …

Parking, towing dispute heats up in Hillsborough County Florida HOA

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities One of the biggest problems created by short-sighted planning in common interest communities is the scarcity of parking space. For example, in Kings Lake subdivision, Hillsborough County, Florida, driveway space is limited and streets are somewhat narrow. If your household uses the garage for storage, and the driveway only …

Condo and homeowner associations losing popularity with today’s buyers

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Several weeks ago, Shu Bartholomew and I discussed On the Commons the changes taking place in the market for association-governed housing. There are some good reasons why home buyers have become less than enchanted with common interest development in general. The prevalence of community conflict and unpredictable financial risks are …

Conservative talk show host threatens to “torpedo a lawsuit” against his HOA

Mark Levin fed up, suggests national movement against Homeowner associations By Deborah Goonan, Independent American CommunitiesA reader alerted me to the fact that conservative radio talk show host, Mark Levin, admitted on air that he’s fed up with his HOA. Whether you agree with Mr. Levin’s partisan politics or not, you need to listen to …

Will building more housing, more densely actually make housing more affordable?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   According to an article in the New York Times, the only way to solve the housing affordability crisis is to build more houses on smaller lots. It's a common battle cry among some urban development professionals and academic leaders. In fact, some proponents of housing density go so …

Developers push for density in new California housing development

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Developers and local housing planners often choose to promote a proposed planned community, by contacting local media. The result is news/press release articles like the following example describing a proposed housing project for southern California, outside of Old Town Temecula. Should proposed Altair housing project near Old Town Temecula …

How HOA bullies – and bystanders – create harmful neighborhood conflict

Photo: Neil Brooks with dog Sam (photo supplied and used with permission) By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I recently heard from a former association-governed community homeowner in Colorado, Neil Brooks. Unfortunately, Neil was recently diagnosed with an incurable type of heart failure, as well as an untreatable form of pulmonary hypertension. “There are no (proven …

The war on Christmas, holiday decorating continues for apartment, condo HOA dwellers

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   I can remember the neighborhood of my childhood at Christmastime. Almost every house on my block was decorated with colored lights, wreaths, candles in the windows, light-up Santa and snowman figures, and Nativity scenes. Neighbors who celebrated Hanukkah would place a Menorah in one of their windows, and …