Should homeowner associations have power to stop harassment and bullying?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   One of the hot legislative debates brewing for 2018 in Florida is whether or  not boards of homeowner, condominium, or cooperative associations should be held responsible for preventing or curtailing harassment or bullying behavior among members of their communities. The legislative proposal follows reports of incidents such as …

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Try as they might, HOA cannot stop publicity of child’s pink playhouse denial

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   A few weeks ago, when I first viewed a report on Rock Hill HOA’s denial of a little girl’s back yard playhouse, I published an article that included a Google Maps satellite image of the community. The HOA calls the quaint chilren’s cottage, pictured above, a shed, even …

Cooperative board says, according to rules, siblings cannot share bedroom

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Canadian cities such as Vancouver share a common problem with U.S. cities - a severe shortage of affordable housing. The typical young family with children simply cannot afford to buy - or even rent - the rare detached single family home in Vancouver. Densely packed housing such as condominiums …

Experts agree: restrictive covenants, a foundation for HOAs, perpetuate housing segregation

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A new research project at Augsburg University, Minneapolis, dubbed Mapping Prejudice, is combing through old deed restrictions to identify racial restrictions that were legal before 1968. Researchers say the purpose of the study is to promote awareness of "the realities of structural racism" in Minneapolis, pointing out that restrictive …

Rockhill HOA orders homeowners to remove child’s playhouse from backyard

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Here we go again. Another HOA dispute over a child's playhouse. Rockhill HOA, Blue Springs, Missouri, insists that the charming pink structure, tucked away in the back yard of the Goolsby family, must be removed. According to a report by KSHB 41/WISN, Kansas City, the HOA leadership says the …

Stopping a condo to apartment deconversion is challenging

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A controversy brewing in Chicago provides more evidence that the market for association-governed housing is on the decline, especially condominiums. River Trails Condominium, 16 buildings 360 units, located in Prospect Heights, Illinois, is one of the latest multifamily housing communities that real estate developers covet for a deconversion. A …

Spike in HOA foreclosures – implications for legislative change

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The subject of foreclosure by association-governed communities is getting substantial attention in the past year or two, and that's a good thing. Investigative reports, such as the following article published by The Arizona Republic at azcetnral.com, serve to increase public awareness of risks for homeowners, as well as the …

Adult Bully: Condo association President arrested for harassment of former resident

NYPD arrests Neal Milano, condo President and manager of Sunnyside Condominiums,  a 47-unit building in Queens By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Multiple media reports of alleged abuse and discrimination are circulating about Sunnyside Condominium Association in Queens, New York. Photographs and TV news videos reveal a bizarre and frightening display installed by 70-year-old …

Community Associations, HOAs should seek to remove offensive covenants

Rodgers Forge, Towson, MD, seeks to eliminate racist covenants. But why can't owners and residents in HOAs challenge any restrictive covenant or law that violates the rights of Americans? Every year I read reports of homeowners shocked and dismayed to learn that deed restrictions on their vintage or historic home contain blatantly racist rules against …

Chicago homeowners unable to override condo board’s $500K special assessment

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   UPDATE on State Parkway Condo Association's vote on special assessment: According to condo owner Michael Novak, State Parkway Condominium Association's accountant, James P. Cherep, MBA, CFE, has officially tabulated condo association member votes with regard to the board-approved $500,000 special assessment. Only 29.05% of association membership voted to …