HOA, condo, co-op corruption, fraud, & theft roundup (Dec. 2017)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities This month’s roundup includes not only arrests and/or convictions of former association managers and board members, but also a conviction resulting from massive mortgage fraud.  Also, an interesting video explaining “red collar crime,” violent retaliation meant to silence whistleblowers.  State Attorney: Bryceville woman guilty of stealing $1.5 million from …

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Unaccountable developers create big problems for condo, homeowner associations

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Let’s talk about one of the most glaring unintended consequences of enabling real estate developers to control residential communities large and small: no accountability to housing consumers. Allow me to explain. Prior to the 1980s and 1990s, a buyer could purchase a new home from a builder without …

Parking, towing dispute heats up in Hillsborough County Florida HOA

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities One of the biggest problems created by short-sighted planning in common interest communities is the scarcity of parking space. For example, in Kings Lake subdivision, Hillsborough County, Florida, driveway space is limited and streets are somewhat narrow. If your household uses the garage for storage, and the driveway only …

Condo and homeowner associations losing popularity with today’s buyers

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Several weeks ago, Shu Bartholomew and I discussed On the Commons the changes taking place in the market for association-governed housing. There are some good reasons why home buyers have become less than enchanted with common interest development in general. The prevalence of community conflict and unpredictable financial risks are …

Conservative talk show host threatens to “torpedo a lawsuit” against his HOA

Mark Levin fed up, suggests national movement against Homeowner associations By Deborah Goonan, Independent American CommunitiesA reader alerted me to the fact that conservative radio talk show host, Mark Levin, admitted on air that he’s fed up with his HOA. Whether you agree with Mr. Levin’s partisan politics or not, you need to listen to …

Will building more housing, more densely actually make housing more affordable?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   According to an article in the New York Times, the only way to solve the housing affordability crisis is to build more houses on smaller lots. It's a common battle cry among some urban development professionals and academic leaders. In fact, some proponents of housing density go so …

Developers push for density in new California housing development

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Developers and local housing planners often choose to promote a proposed planned community, by contacting local media. The result is news/press release articles like the following example describing a proposed housing project for southern California, outside of Old Town Temecula. Should proposed Altair housing project near Old Town Temecula …

The war on Christmas, holiday decorating continues for apartment, condo HOA dwellers

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   I can remember the neighborhood of my childhood at Christmastime. Almost every house on my block was decorated with colored lights, wreaths, candles in the windows, light-up Santa and snowman figures, and Nativity scenes. Neighbors who celebrated Hanukkah would place a Menorah in one of their windows, and …

Unpleasant surprises for HOA homeowners

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Property owners in this St. Louis (MO) homeowners’ association are coping with sewage backup, suing their Property Owners’ Association for failure to repair the lateral sewer line located on association property. Portland Place with its historic enclave of grand homes situated near Forest Park, has a sewage system that is …

IN Judge rules in favor of HOA, says City of Charlestown’s fines are unconstitutional

Judge agrees with HOA’s complaint that City of Charlestown acting in collusion with private developer   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   I have been following reports from Charlestown, Indiana, for more than three years. That’s how long Mayor Bob Hall has been working on his grand redevelopment plan for the city. It all …