By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Several weeks ago, a reader forwarded a link to an opinion written NY Times columnist David Brooks. The gist of the Brooks’ opinion is that positive change can and should happen at the neighborhood level. Brooks appears to be a fan of neighborhood “self-government” rather than one-size-fits-all public oversight at the state level. Curiously, Brook cites as an example the voluntary-membership neighborhood group, R.A.G.E., even though the group includes Continue ReadingIs the neighborhood a “unit of change?”
By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Today’s feature article caught my eye because, in the past year, I’ve heard from several homeowners concerned about the possibility of their voluntary homeowners’ association converting to a mandatory HOA. John Romano’s column in the Tampa Bay Times features Venetian Isles, St. Petersburg, Florida. The 50+ year-old waterfront neighborhood consists of 525 waterfront homes, neatly lined up on manmade islands along the western shores of Tampa Bay. Because of Continue ReadingShould homeowners shift from voluntary to mandatory HOA?
In the aftermath of Harvey, Woodlands Township, Counties, and MUD will each play a role In previous blog posts, I explained that, in general, association governed communities are not eligible for cash assistance from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for post-disaster clean up and repairs. FEMA does not provide taxpayer funding for mandatory community associations, because, by law and for tax purposes, they are private organizations, not government entities. An exception might be made for Continue ReadingTimarron Lakes HOA seeks FEMA flood relief, storm drainage improvements
By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Many types of organizations are referred to as homeowners associations (HOAs). The media tend to lump all HOAs together as the same thing, often failing to make important distinctions between voluntary civic associations and mandatory homeowners associations. And that explains, in part, why there is so much public confusion over what HOAs are, and what purpose they serve. Today I am going to share three examples of voluntary homeowners Continue ReadingCivic and neighborhood associations very different from “modern” HOAs