Mandatory reading before buying in or signing a residential or commercial lease in a mixed-use or high density community.

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Higher density / mixed used communities, pros & cons A collection of articles and references citing pros and cons of increasing density and incorporating mixed land uses   Advantages promoted by the industry: Walkable communities Affordable lifestyles near urban amenities Reduces sprawl and conserves land and environmental resources …

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Connecting the dots: Storm water, flood control, HOAs, and affordable housing

A trio of DESTRUCTIVE hurricanes have thrust the related issues of flood control and storm water management into the limelight   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Regular readers of IAC know I emphasize the fact that financial burdens of storm water management and flood control systems are heaped upon property owners and residents …

Hurricane Irma recovery: Counties, Cities to assist with debris removal

Local governments acknowledge duty to taxpayers in private HOAs, even if FEMA denies reimbursement   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Sometimes a crisis creates an unexpected but refreshing response from one’s neighbors. Several local governments in Florida have announced plans to assist homeowners in association-governed communities, as they struggle to remove tons of …

Urban development: what is the appropriate limit on density?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Several readers have contacted me over the past several months, sharing concerns about overdevelopment of multifamily housing, mixed used urban development, and recently approved master planned communities. One reader from Virginia laments that vintage single family and row homes are being demolished to make room for much taller …

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 …

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 …

Timarron Lakes HOA seeks FEMA flood relief, storm drainage improvements

In the aftermath of Harvey, Woodlands Township, Counties, and MUD will each play a role In previous blog posts, I explained that, in general, association governed communities are not eligible for cash assistance from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for post-disaster clean up and repairs. FEMA does not provide taxpayer funding for mandatory community associations, …

HOA, Condo Community Associations begin to assess damage from Hurricane Harvey

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities     As remnants of Hurricane Harvey move out of Texas and toward Louisiana, local media are beginning to report on the devastation. Owners of property in association-governed, common interest communities face a double whammy in terms of repairing and rebuilding. They face extensive clean up and loss of common …