When is a flood zone not a flood zone? Riverstone owners sue HOA developer

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts continue in southeastern Texas. Now that waters have receded, clean up and damage assessment is well underway. Homeowners and residents wonder what went wrong. Yesterday, I wrote about widespread flooding in Cinco Ranch, which caused failure of a sewage treatment plant. Today's report from KTRK …

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HOA trade group fails to acknowledge its role in foreclosure abuse

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Catherine Reagor and Jessica Boehm of The Arizona Republic have been shedding light on the controversial power of HOA foreclosure. (If you missed it, you can find IAC analysis of the issue here.) To be fair, HOA industry watch dogs, community advocates, and homeowner rights activists have been on …

Rockhill HOA orders homeowners to remove child’s playhouse from backyard

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Here we go again. Another HOA dispute over a child's playhouse. Rockhill HOA, Blue Springs, Missouri, insists that the charming pink structure, tucked away in the back yard of the Goolsby family, must be removed. According to a report by KSHB 41/WISN, Kansas City, the HOA leadership says the …

Stopping a condo to apartment deconversion is challenging

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A controversy brewing in Chicago provides more evidence that the market for association-governed housing is on the decline, especially condominiums. River Trails Condominium, 16 buildings 360 units, located in Prospect Heights, Illinois, is one of the latest multifamily housing communities that real estate developers covet for a deconversion. A …

Community Associations, HOAs should seek to remove offensive covenants

Rodgers Forge, Towson, MD, seeks to eliminate racist covenants. But why can't owners and residents in HOAs challenge any restrictive covenant or law that violates the rights of Americans? Every year I read reports of homeowners shocked and dismayed to learn that deed restrictions on their vintage or historic home contain blatantly racist rules against …

What should be done about the Phantom, Inactive HOA?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Yesterday's post provided quantitative data - statistics and surveys from the real estate industry and the U.S. Census - that suggest that association governed communities are falling out of favor with housing consumers. Today I share with readers a report that provides qualitative evidence of a governance model that …

Poinciana continues battle for independence

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities It has been almost three years since Poinciana completed a feasibility study on incorporating as a city. At that time, a group of residents hoped that elected state and county leaders (Osceola and Polk Counties) would allow for a Referendum vote on the issue at the next general election. …

Update: NV Supreme Court rules in favor of GSE loan servicers

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Real estate auction investors who purchased hundreds of properties at HOA foreclosure sales for pennies on the dollar are reeling at this latest Supreme Court ruling in Nevada. In 2014, Nevada Supreme Court ruled that an investor who purchases an HOA foreclosure can wipe out the first mortgage by …

Condo industry investors unhappy about new consumer protections

New Florida statutes make it more difficult to force condo termination and apartment conversions upon unwilling owners By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Part of the mission here at IAC is to educate housing consumers by exposing the true agenda of the real estate industry. Hint: it is not to serve the needs of …

When will Americans declare independence from HOA tyranny?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities In honor of Independence Day, today let's take a look at a list of Constitutional Rights not guaranteed in homeowners, condominium, and cooperative associations. Because, after all, according to HOA industry trade group lobbyists from Community Associations Institute (CAI), association governed common interest communities are private organizations, not government entities. …