NY HOA accused of discriminatory marketing of new homes

Homeowners also say board won’t provide access to financial records

 

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

 

Are sales agents for Woodbury Junction marketing new homes exclusively to Hasidic Jews? In this News 12 Westchester report, some existing homeowners in the private community, located about 50 miles from New York, claim that is exactly what’s happening. They say they have been aggressively approached by home buyers, hoping to convince them to sell their homes.

Homeowners accuse private community of financial fraud, illegal marketing

Posted: Oct 31, 2017 5:11 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 31, 2017 8:01 PM EDT

Homeowners accuse private community of financial fraud, illegal marketing

CENTRAL VALLEY –
Homeowners are accusing a private, upscale community in Central Valley of financial fraud and illegal marketing practices.

Homeowners in Woodbury Junction claim that the complex’s financial records are being kept secret and new homes are being marketed to buyers based on religion. They claim that the homes are being marketed toward Jewish people.

Read more (Video):

http://westchester.news12.com/story/36730380/homeowners-accuse-private-community-of-financial-fraud-illegal-marketing

This is the second report of alleged exclusionary home sales activity in the past month. (A previous report alleges developers of a Joppatowne, Maryland community are selling exclusively to a specific religious sect of Muslims)

Fair Housing laws prohibit home sales practices that exclude qualified buyers on the basis of protected classes: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status.

The Fair Housing Act was originally enacted to prevent housing discrimination against minority non-White, non-Christian populations. But as the U.S. has become more diverse over the past 5 decades, some growing minority groups are now being accused of discriminating against housing consumers that do not belong to their religious or ethnic group.

Private communities governed by homeowners’, condominium, or cooperative associations can provide convenient housing for residents who share similar interests or cultures. Exclusive access to amenities is particularly appealing for  owners and tenants who prefer to socialize primarily with members of their own group.

Many lake, oceanside, and golf communities have historically been targeted to niche markets. Although not specifically restricted by any legally protected class, a relatively high cost of ownership and restrictive covenants had the effect of limiting buyers to those who fit a narrow demographic profile.

Over the decades, of course, entire communities have transitioned, and many  once affluent and exclusive HOA communities now house people from all walks of life, including a substantial number of tenants.

As new ethnic or religious groups begin to populate established communities, it can lead to friction among residents. In one New Jersey condo association, owners are embroiled in a lawsuit over alleged discriminatory restrictions for use of the community pool.

 

What else is going on in Woodbury Junction?

Woodbury Junction is a new home community that was originally established in 2011. Portions of the community are gated. Residents have access to private swimming pools, tennis courts, clubhouses, and walking trails.

The spacious homes are located within a short drive to public transit serving New York City. Residents enjoy exclusive access to nearby Woodbury Parks & Recreation.  Facilities include two manmade lakes with swimming areas, plus several sports courts and fields.

Woodbury Park is referred to as a “Town,” insinuating public governance. Yet admission to Parks and Recreation is subject to proof of residency, with limited guest passes available.

It all sounds curiously inviting and idyllic.

However, it is apparent from the News 12 report that the level of trust for the HOA board is quite low. Homeowners say that the common areas and roads are not being maintained to satisfactory standards, and the HOA has been uncooperative in producing detailed financial records.

News 12 reports that management for Woodbury Junction Association denies all allegations of discriminatory marketing and claims it provides annual financial statements to homeowners.

My sense is that there is far more to this story.

 

Advertisements

2 Replies to “NY HOA accused of discriminatory marketing of new homes”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s