HOA neighborhoods struggle with change

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities All neighborhoods change over time, as old residents move out and new residents move in. But HOA and condo communities tend to struggle with change. Why? It’s a fact of life. Over time, people get married or divorced. Adults move to new locations for career opportunities. Children grow up and move away from home. Older adults retire and some decide to sell and downsize. Still other homes are sold Continue ReadingHOA neighborhoods struggle with change

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Maryland bill seeks to remove developer money from local politics

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities As the saying goes, all politics is local. Citizens of Baltimore County, Maryland, are supporting a bi-partisan proposal, sponsored by a two State Senators, to ban developer campaign contributions to County Council members. And at recent County meeting, most testimony has been in favor of the bill. The goal is to prevent “pay to play” urban planning, and precedent has already been set by Prince George’s County about 2 decades Continue ReadingMaryland bill seeks to remove developer money from local politics

Homeowners fight HOA developers still in control of communities

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities One of the biggest myths perpetuated by homeowners’ association (HOA) industry trade groups – among them Community Associations Institute (CAI) – is that homeowners freely and democratically elect their Board of Directors/Trustees from amongst their neighbors. Nonsense. While a democratically-elected HOA Board might be the ultimate, ideal goal, reality plays out much differently for millions of homeowners across the U.S. One glaring factor that all of the industry’s marketing Continue ReadingHomeowners fight HOA developers still in control of communities

Consumer Notice: PA HOA, Condo, Co-op pending legislation

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Well, I cannot say I am surprised, but I had hoped things would be different in my home state of Pennsylvania. Several weeks ago I wrote articles about HB 1774 (here and here), legislation proposed by State Rep. Rosemary Brown (R), intended to give the Attorney General’s office authority to “investigate and mediate” disputes in homeowners, condo, and cooperative associations in the state. The orignal bill offered broad oversight Continue ReadingConsumer Notice: PA HOA, Condo, Co-op pending legislation