Try as they might, HOA cannot stop publicity of child’s pink playhouse denial

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   A few weeks ago, when I first viewed a report on Rock Hill HOA’s denial of a little girl’s back yard playhouse, I published an article that included a Google Maps satellite image of the community. The HOA calls the quaint chilren’s cottage, pictured above, a shed, even …

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Cooperative board says, according to rules, siblings cannot share bedroom

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Canadian cities such as Vancouver share a common problem with U.S. cities - a severe shortage of affordable housing. The typical young family with children simply cannot afford to buy - or even rent - the rare detached single family home in Vancouver. Densely packed housing such as condominiums …

NY Co-op fined $125K for violation of Fair Housing Act

Buyer claimed discrimination due to disabilities   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Tompkins Manor co-op, and management company West-Ex Associates were named in a recent settlement in a Fair Housing complaint alleging discrimination based on disability status. According to reports, Michael Forster is a 34-year old man with congenital heart defects, and, due to medical …

Is it possible to peacefully coexist in a condo or co-op if you have children?

How can parents deal with condo and co-op associations that are not family friendly? By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   What if your NY co-op told you that you must enter exit through the back door with your baby stroller? No, I am not making this up. Check out this recent article from Habitat …

Does your HOA, condo association discriminate?

  By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The origins of early planned and private communities of the 20th century were rooted in principles of exclusive accommodations for the privileged class. When developers started mass producing housing for the middle class following World War II, neighborhoods became more segregated by race and social class, mainly …

Recent HOA conflict results in gun violence

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities     This week brings two disturbing reports of violence among residents living in association governed communities. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that 33-year old Eric Leroy shot and injured his HOA president, Timothy Rose. Although Leroy has been arrested in connection with the incident, the name of the …

Does HUD’s new harassment rule make HOAs, condos, co-ops state actors?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities George Staropoli published a fascinating and important blog this week, entitled We don't want no stinkin' government protection for HOA members. It is well worth reading and commenting. You can do so here: https://pvtgov.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/we-dont-want-no-stinkin-government-protection-for-hoa-members/ In his blog, regarding a recent newsletter from a California HOA attorney, Staropoli ponders: This …

The Great HOA Divide

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Every day I read dozens of reports of conflict and division in association-governed, common interest communities. None of it surprises me anymore. The pattern of behavior and the nature of these fights is disturbingly predictable. Some experts in the industry blame frequent conflict on a few selfish people, those …

HOA cannot afford to maintain failing onsite sewer system

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   When you buy into a private community, it often comes with additional costs. In some communities, that cost includes a private water or sewer system, built just for your community. But private infrastructure such as sanitary sewer systems are costly to operate and maintain. And what happens when …

Texas State Rep files bill to prevent HOA restrictions on displays of religious items

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities If you have ever lived under the rule of a homeowners association, you know that rules and restrictions can sometimes be onerous. HOAs typically dictate what color you can paint your house and trim, how you can landscape your yard, where you can park your car, and even where …