County works with HOA to dredge lake, improve watershed

Timberlake Campbell County Virginia

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Here’s an example of an HOA working with their County to create a tax district to help pay for a $500,000 lake dredging project. The lake community was forced to lower water levels and eventually drain the lake, following flooding earlier this year. Over time, silt has covered the …

Boulder’s “Permanently Affordable” condos unaffordable

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities In Devner, there’s a huge disconnect between cost of housing and wages. So the City decided to make housing Permanently Affordable for people in low to middle-income brackets. Denver, Colorado is one of the most expensive housing markets in the U.S., with a median home price of $421,900, as …

Spotsylvania sinkhole inspires Virginia HB 1614

Sinkhole

The bill would permit use of grant funds for stormwater and erosion management for private homeowners and HOAs. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Back in July, I wrote a post about Virginia homeowner Doug Woods. His property is the site of the infamous Spotsylvania sinkhole. The hole opened up near Woods' driveway in February, …

Disabled woman stuck with bills for moldy condo

Plumbing pipes wrench leak

Water was slowly leaking into her condo. But the disabled homeowner could not smell the mold until her unit was heavily damaged. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Many people who buy into the condominium lifestyle do so expecting both affordability and ease of maintenance. But for 72-year-old Judy Young of Orlando, life at One Thousand …

Arkansas – defunct HOA will lose lake if dam not fixed

lake dam country hills mountains

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Lake Sandy Acres, Arkansas, homeowners with an inactive HOA recently learned they could lose their lake, because the old earthen dam that holds back the water could fail at any time. The dam has sprung a leak, and it's in shabby condition. So add Arkansas to the growing list …

Owners with no HOA, public sewer, face $11,404 tax assessment

Sanitary sewer Sewage cap

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Owners of twenty estate homes in the Greenbrook Manor subdivision, located in the Village of River Hills, recently learned they might have to pay a $11,404 special tax assessment to the city, to pay for a new sewer lift pump. No, Greenbrook Manor is not a planned community, and …

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 …

HOA controversy updates (November 2018)

News Update chalkboard clock

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Periodically, IAC provides updates on previously covered HOA news. This post provides three updates: Status of Florida homeowners and HOAs waiting for KB Homes to honor their multimillion dollar out-of-court settlement involving improperly applied stucco Update on Illinois homeowners who were pressured into forming an HOA to take back …

Ravine erosion threatens property, homeowners file lawsuit

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities According to a homeowner lawsuit recently filed in Fort Bend County, Texas, Weston Lakes POA is not addressing a serious erosion problem in their drainage ravine. Joe and Jill Nixon purchased what they thought was their dream home in Riverwood Forest at Weston Lakes in July 2015. But within …

Not-so-United States: a nation divided by HOAs

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Is America a nation divided by homeowners’ associations (HOAs)? Stakeholders in the real estate industry are fond of promoting association-governed common interest developments as utopian neighborhoods with a “sense of community.” You’ve probably seen the commercials for lushly landscaped planned subdivisions and villages, right? The ones that show happy, …