Reader poll: Should there be more consumer protection regulation for HOAs?

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Thanksgiving and private property rights

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Sometimes I agree with John Stossel, and sometimes I don’t. But this Thanksgiving video explaining the “tragedy of the commons” with regard to Pilgrim settlers is right on. Watch this brief video first, then see my additional commentary below. https://youtu.be/jZERvJemQLc Now think about the “tragedy of the commons” …

Viriginia Beach community displays the mean side of beach condo living

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Ever dream of owning a condo by the beach, spending your Golden Years enjoying the sand and surf? What if you paid big money for your retirement dream home by the sea, but your access to the beach was blocked by a sand dune? And what if the condo …

Is Joppatowne, MD, new home community violating Fair Housing Act?

Fair Housing complaint filed with HUD. Hartford County has stopped issuing building permits, and buyers cannot move in, pending outcome of lawsuit. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The latest controversy circulating on social media is a Fair Housing complaint involving River Run, a 55+ retirement community in Maryland. It all started when a …

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 …

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 …