Monday, January 18, 2010

A Whiter Shade of Pale

The Signal - Santa Clarita Valley News - Shades of beige: "Homeowner's associations have sprung up rapidly since 1970, said Evan McKenzie, an associate professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In 1960, there were fewer than 500 HOAs. Today, there are about 300,000, McKenzie said.

McKenzie said he could spend days talking about problems with HOAs, but one of the biggest is how residential governments have changed the cultural landscape by invading residents' personal space.

'Nobody wants to live under a nitpicky level of government,' McKenzie said. 'HOAs manage an aspect of peoples lives that have always been private.'"

Thanks to Shu Bartholomew for locating this one. Where is Procol Harum when you need them? (I think my cultural reference may be lost on the younger set, but can I get an amen here?)


Shu Bartholomew said...


Anonymous said...

I've posted this earlier, but it's worth repeating in response to this story:

According to the Independence Institute, self-described as Colorado's Free Market Think Tank, "Since HOAs are very local and small, participants are often neighbors and hence have incentive to settle disagreements in a civil manner."

It's odd how free-market libertarians support this form of nitpicky government that controls your private property and holds it as collateral, forever, in the name of collectivism. If HOAs are the result of free markets, then perhaps Obama's brand of communism/socialism/fascism might not be so bad. Obamunism can't be any worse.

It's also odd that if you read the comments section in The Signal story, somebody using the nom de plume "Johnny Cash" is a spokeperson for The Man.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, "Amen."
Secondly, let's talk about the real problems with HOA's, COA's, (CID's.) My experience is that many have become foreclosure incentives for some of the most horrible people in our society. Vulnerable populations, I feel are targeted, harassed, terrorizrd, forced into costly legal battles over fabricated offenses. Nobody wants to know about what was done to them, or why. Innocent people are being forced into homelessness, legal, or NOT!
Two recent posts to a story on you site say an awful lot:

"The vendors (management company and attorney) threaten the homeowners with foreclosure to extort money from the homeowners. Undoubtedly the management company reps will either lie or they will otherwise con gullible board members into justifying the management company's activities and propose "direct charge" or "back charging" the homeowner so that no one but the homeowner is any-the-wiser as to what the management company and HOA attorney are trying to extract from the homeowner."
Many times the homeowner is advised that "this is all stupid, there is nothing the board, mgt. co., atty. can do. There are rules they have to follow." In fact, there are no rules and these thieves will manipulate, lie, cheaty steal and lie in courtrooms to carry out there agenda's. They just do not threaten to foreclose, they do foreclose!

Another blog post quote:
"I have seen a where an individuial board member(s) have conspired with the association attorney to fraudulently fine, assess and foreclose upon simply innocent families, who owed absolutely nothing. These acts are terrible and I believe are intentional, to destroy lives, careers, finances and families.
Those who have planned, conspired and carried out the terrible crimes need to be prosecuted, no matter who they are, or who they know.
Thirdly, "Amen," to those who post on your blog with the truth!

Bill in NC said...

HOAs are ultimately too expensive for the owners because they privatize costs that are usually paid for by taxes in non-HOA neighborhoods (why pay an assessment on top of property taxes?)

My 50 unit HOA just paid $100,000 last year just to repave - can't imagine what that will cost in 10-15 years.

Water is not individually metered, so there is no incentive to fix any leaks (here water costs have almost quadrupled in the last 20 years)