Exposing corruption in the affordable housing industry

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Do governments and private individuals spend affordable housing taxpayer dollars wisely? Critics say the industry is plagued by fraud and corruption. What exactly is “affordable housing?” How many times have you heard the industry claim that it’s essential to build condominiums in order to provide more affordable housing? Multiple meanings …

Can your HOA end neighbor on neighbor housing discrimination?

50th anniversary fair housing HUD poster

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities As explained in a previous post, in 2016, HUD published a rule that clarified that association-governed boards and their managing agents have legal duty to prevent housing discrimination in their communities. Some industry leaders, including members of trade group Community Associations Institute (CAI), expressed strong disapproval of the Quid …

HOA battles: homeowners stand up for their rights

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Two great articles to share today! Despite rumors you may have heard about apathy in HOAs, homeowners in Arizona and California are standing up for their rights, and going public with their fights against injustice.   California man takes a stand for free speech Patrick Foley, a San Diego …

How about some truly affordable non-HOA housing options?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Let’s explore some practical affordable housing options, looking outside the HOA Box. For more than forty years, real estate stakeholders have promoted their ideal of the association-governed corporate community. The trade groups at the forefront of this 50-year-old housing experiment have managed to build more than 344,000 association-governed communities, …

Big Picture: US housing trends & condo, HOA communities

Multifamily apartment mortgage fraud investigation underway According to a report in Housing Wire, referencing the Wall Street Journal, the FBI, DOJ, and Inspector General of FHFA are investigating fraudulent activities of developers in New York and Pennsylvania. The federal agencies handed down indictments after gathering evidence that developers “Frank Giacobbe, Patrick Ogiony, Kevin Morgan, and …

Despite 50-year anniversary of 1968 Fair Housing Act, discrimination plagues HOAs, retirement communities

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities This month, IAC shares four new reports of housing discrimination involving a variety of privately-governed communities. FL Attorney General takes on condo association in Fair Housing discrimination lawsuit It’s rare to see an Attorney General investigate complaints involving association-governed communities. But in this case, Pam Bondi ended up with the …

Fair Housing discrimination: the HOA war against the school bus

Back to School bus graphic

What takes priority: a community’s right to limit traffic, or the safety of its school children?   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Every year when it’s time for children to go back to school, it’s inevitable. We see reports of homeowners’ associations board members that feel the need to do something about the presence …

HOA board accused of religious discrimination files countersuit against Hasidic Jews (NY)

Counterclaims allege harassment against HOA board members By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A few months ago, I posted an article about a $7.5 million Fair Housing lawsuit filed by 15 Hasidic Jewish families in Highland Lake Estates (HLE), White Plains, New York. Plaintiffs in that lawsuit allege religious discrimination, perpetrated by members of the …

Political influence of real estate developers: the heart of the HOA beast

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Real estate developers figured out a long time ago how to exert political influence over government officials and housing policy makers, from the local to the federal levels. For the past three years, IAC has provided more than 1,000 posts citing thousands of references to prove a point: …

Two Fair Housing victories for NJ condo residents who were denied their requests for support animals

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Two condo associations in New Jersey settled complaints filed by residents, both of them fair housing claims following denial of their requests for support animals. The first settlement involved a dispute between tenant T.D. and Harbortown Sail condominium association, Perth Amboy. T.D. suffers from medical conditions that cause …