CA SB 407 would uphold First Amendment rights for HOA residents

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A frequent complaint of homeowners and residents of Association-Governed common interest communities is that the board restricts access to community gathering areas, while, at the same time, controlling the content of all official communication venues. For instance, what if a group of homeowners has a difference of opinion about … More CA SB 407 would uphold First Amendment rights for HOA residents

West Virginia HOA seeks annexation to City

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The industry that builds, sells, and services association-governed common interest communities is fond of stating that these communities are an “institution” that is “here to stay.” And, in fact, the industry, and many local governments, have intentionally set the HOA trap for decades, with complicated statutes and land … More West Virginia HOA seeks annexation to City

Tell your Mayor and Planning Commission – stop force feeding HOAs

Home buyers: Don’t want to pay HOA fees on top of property taxes? Not interested in private community amenities and the rules that come along with them? Prefer to choose your own contractor to provide landscape and exterior maintenance? Ask your Realtor to show you single family homes with no HOA. By Deborah Goonan, Independent … More Tell your Mayor and Planning Commission – stop force feeding HOAs

Creating HOA-Condo-Co-op Accountability

When good people get involved in the political process, they create positive change. By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Across the U.S., housing activists and consumer advocates are working with state lawmakers to hold their community leaders – association boards and managers – accountable. Here are some examples: California AB-690 would prevent fee gouging and … More Creating HOA-Condo-Co-op Accountability

Will state bills finally bring accountability to Association-Governed communities?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Both Florida and Pennsylvania Legislatures are considering  bills to create accountability for association-governed communities. But the type of legislation differs vastly. Florida In Florida, the legislation under consideration will apply only to condominium and cooperative associations, but not to planned communities of single family homes. SB 1682 and companion … More Will state bills finally bring accountability to Association-Governed communities?

The Great HOA Divide

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Every day I read dozens of reports of conflict and division in association-governed, common interest communities. None of it surprises me anymore. The pattern of behavior and the nature of these fights is disturbingly predictable. Some experts in the industry blame frequent conflict on a few selfish people, those … More The Great HOA Divide

What can be done about HOA dysfunction?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities After listening to residents, and reading and learning about issues affecting association-governed common interest communities for more than five years, as well as writing about them for almost three years, something very important is happening. Finally, people are starting to discuss possible solutions to problems and alternative housing models. … More What can be done about HOA dysfunction?

In search of equality: are HOAs businesses or not?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities HOA Industry’s point of view is inconsistent, in light of its legislative quest for equal access to FEMA disaster relief. Once again, the industry is exposing its tendency to promote a double standard with regard to homeowner, condominium, and cooperative associations. Community Associations Institute (CAI) is notorious for being … More In search of equality: are HOAs businesses or not?

Utah SB 154 removes some HOA solar energy barriers for homeowners

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Update MArch 11, 2017: Utah SB 154 passed both House and Senate as of late Thursday evening. In the end, there was a compromise. HOAs that currently have restrictions “explicitly prohibiting” solar panels can still enforce those restrictions, unless two-thirds of parcel owners vote to change those restrictions. Reportedly, … More Utah SB 154 removes some HOA solar energy barriers for homeowners

HOA Justice is elusive without enforcement of laws and high ethical standards

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Things are really heating up in Florida, and it’s not just because of the weather. A recent Miami-Dade Grand Jury report blasts the Department of Professional and Business Judgment (DBPR) for its failure to address an epidemic of corruption and dysfunction in condominium associations in the Sunshine State. … More HOA Justice is elusive without enforcement of laws and high ethical standards