New surveillance camera startup plans to serve HOAs – what could go wrong?

Security camera in use sign

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities How far are you willing to go to protect yourself and your community from crime? How much privacy are you willing to give up? How much would you be willing to pay for security services? A new startup surveillance company is hoping you — or your homeowners association — will pay $1,500 apiece for their new security cameras. According to several recent reports (see here and here), the fledgling Continue ReadingNew surveillance camera startup plans to serve HOAs – what could go wrong?

MI: Bay View Association members vote to revoke rule requiring owners to be Christians

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Good news! It appears that a federal lawsuit against Bay View Association, filed by current homeowners and potential home buyers, has generated enough public pressure to convince the association’s membership to vote to eliminate the requirement that all homeowners must be practicing Christians, actively affiliated with a church. The federal lawsuit called the ‘Christian persuasion rule’ discriminatory, and a violation of First Amendment rights. Bay View Association is Continue ReadingMI: Bay View Association members vote to revoke rule requiring owners to be Christians

Federal Housing Authority confirms investigation of Michigan HOA for religious discrimination

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   A federal lawsuit has prompted an investigation of Bay View Association, a seasonal community in Michigan, whose board recently enacted a policy requiring all of its property owners to be practicing Christians, affiliated with a church. See this AP news release: Feds investigate Michigan resort community that requires homeowners to be of ‘Christian persuasion’ Details previously posted February 12, 2018 First Amendment, Fair Housing, & Civil Rights: Can Continue ReadingFederal Housing Authority confirms investigation of Michigan HOA for religious discrimination

First Amendment, Fair Housing, & Civil Rights: Can MI HOA discriminate on basis of religious affiliation?

Free Speech constitution first amendment

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The Bay View Association (MI) case is particularly important because the Association possesses many of the same qualities, rights, and governing powers of modern association-governed communities (HOAs). If a federal court recognizes Bay View Association as a government entity, could it open the doors to future legal challenges of the power of Homeowners’ Associations to enforce unconstitutional covenants and restrictions?   It has been 70 years since the Continue ReadingFirst Amendment, Fair Housing, & Civil Rights: Can MI HOA discriminate on basis of religious affiliation?