Three factors that create perceived “need” for association-governed housing

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Ever wonder why most new construction and redevelopment in the past 20-30 years is part of a common interest community with a mandatory membership homeowners or condominium association? Contrary to real estate industry pubic relations efforts, the institutionalization of private governance of communities — both residential and mixed-use — …

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HOA battles: homeowners stand up for their rights

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Two great articles to share today! Despite rumors you may have heard about apathy in HOAs, homeowners in Arizona and California are standing up for their rights, and going public with their fights against injustice.   California man takes a stand for free speech Patrick Foley, a San Diego …

Despite 50-year anniversary of 1968 Fair Housing Act, discrimination plagues HOAs, retirement communities

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities This month, IAC shares four new reports of housing discrimination involving a variety of privately-governed communities. FL Attorney General takes on condo association in Fair Housing discrimination lawsuit It’s rare to see an Attorney General investigate complaints involving association-governed communities. But in this case, Pam Bondi ended up with the …

Fair Housing discrimination: the HOA war against the school bus

Back to School bus graphic

What takes priority: a community’s right to limit traffic, or the safety of its school children?   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Every year when it’s time for children to go back to school, it’s inevitable. We see reports of homeowners’ associations board members that feel the need to do something about the presence …

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. …

HOA board accused of religious discrimination files countersuit against Hasidic Jews (NY)

Counterclaims allege harassment against HOA board members By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A few months ago, I posted an article about a $7.5 million Fair Housing lawsuit filed by 15 Hasidic Jewish families in Highland Lake Estates (HLE), White Plains, New York. Plaintiffs in that lawsuit allege religious discrimination, perpetrated by members of the …

Fair Housing legal victory for Hawaii condo owners, $1.7 M award

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Gregory and Michele White’s condo horror story began in 2014, when they replaced the light colored carpet in their 2nd floor condo townhouse unit with dark wood floors. Kenolio Condo Association has a rule that requires 2nd floor unit owners to install carpeting, in order to prevent noise …

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 …

Two Fair Housing victories for NJ condo residents who were denied their requests for support animals

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Two condo associations in New Jersey settled complaints filed by residents, both of them fair housing claims following denial of their requests for support animals. The first settlement involved a dispute between tenant T.D. and Harbortown Sail condominium association, Perth Amboy. T.D. suffers from medical conditions that cause …

$7.5 M HOA lawsuit in NY claims religious discrimination, Fair Housing violations

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Another fair housing lawsuit filed in New York adds to a growing list of religious discrimination complaints filed by homeowners and residents against their association-governed community (HOA). A report published by Westfair Communications notes that 11 Orthodox Jews, from 15 Hasidic families that currently reside in Highland Lake …