How HOA bullies – and bystanders – create harmful neighborhood conflict

Photo: Neil Brooks with dog Sam (photo supplied and used with permission) By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities I recently heard from a former association-governed community homeowner in Colorado, Neil Brooks. Unfortunately, Neil was recently diagnosed with an incurable type of heart failure, as well as an untreatable form of pulmonary hypertension. “There are no (proven …

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Poor urban planning, unkind attitudes lead to unreasonable parking restrictions in CA HOA

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Donie Vanitzian’s column in the L.A. Times is a great inspiration for my Sunday blog. This week’s Q&A addresses a very common source of conflict in increasingly dense housing governed by private homeowners’ associations: parking restrictions. But don’t just read the column. Be sure to read the comments, …

Homeowners thankful for HOA Fair Housing legal victory

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Just in time for Thanksgiving, U.S. District Judge William Alsup has awarded a substantial class action settlement in a high profile fair housing, civil rights lawsuit. An $800,000 award has been ordered in favor of hundreds of current and former residents and tenants of the Silvertree Mojave Homeowners Association …

Viriginia Beach community displays the mean side of beach condo living

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Ever dream of owning a condo by the beach, spending your Golden Years enjoying the sand and surf? What if you paid big money for your retirement dream home by the sea, but your access to the beach was blocked by a sand dune? And what if the condo …

NY HOA accused of discriminatory marketing of new homes

Homeowners also say board won’t provide access to financial records   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Are sales agents for Woodbury Junction marketing new homes exclusively to Hasidic Jews? In this News 12 Westchester report, some existing homeowners in the private community, located about 50 miles from New York, claim that is exactly …

Is Joppatowne, MD, new home community violating Fair Housing Act?

Fair Housing complaint filed with HUD. Hartford County has stopped issuing building permits, and buyers cannot move in, pending outcome of lawsuit. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The latest controversy circulating on social media is a Fair Housing complaint involving River Run, a 55+ retirement community in Maryland. It all started when a …

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 …

Chicago homeowners unable to override condo board’s $500K special assessment

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   UPDATE on State Parkway Condo Association's vote on special assessment: According to condo owner Michael Novak, State Parkway Condominium Association's accountant, James P. Cherep, MBA, CFE, has officially tabulated condo association member votes with regard to the board-approved $500,000 special assessment. Only 29.05% of association membership voted to …

FL HOA shows no compassion for woman in search of kidney donor

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Here's another report of a homeowners' association that seems to value property more than people. Imagine how you would feel if you or a loved one were in need of a kidney transplant. You'd probably make every effort to find a donor, right? Gabi Morales and her mother, Tammi …

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 …