Monday, September 05, 2011

HOAs as destroyers of community

HOAs are often referred to by the community association industry as its name suggests, communities. Veteran HOA critic George Staropoli however has a different perspective, asserting in a white paper that HOAs starve communities of the social capital they need to develop true community:
These associations do not create positive social capital consisting of social networks and connections with reciprocal relationships, social interactions, trustworthiness and mutual obligations between the powerful boards and the rank and file homeowners. Rather, HOAs are a major cause of the destruction of social capital within the subdivision community. And as HOAs have become institutionalized — being accepted without question as “that’s the way it is” — they have made a substantial contribution to the decline in social capital in America.


Celene said...

Communisty Associations Institute said...

H.O.A.s do not destroy communities.

What destroys communities are the delinquents and malcontents who refuse to abide by the rules they agreed to follow -- rules which can be amended at any time without their consent for their own good. These are the same people who create a burden for their neighbors by disputing arbitrary fines and fees imposed on them by the H.O.A.'s volunteer board of directors.

Another thing that destroys communities is government regulation of H.O.A.s.

Secret proxy polling data gathered by the University of East Anglia's Community Research Unit (CRU) proves that 132% of homeowners in community associations are either happy, very happy, or very very happy with their H.O.A.

The collective ownership of your private property is a sound theory. It's just that American homeowners aren't good enough for it.

This is why we support legislation that balances fewer rights for homeowners with more power for C.A.I. vendors such as property managers and collections attorneys.

Homeowners are unfit to govern themselves without strong leadership, and a Dictatorship of the Privatopiats is necessary to ensure that the regime of collective ownership of property can function for the benefit of C.A.I. members.

Anonymous said...

from Celene's link: "Then when a homeowner asked why is the management company running the meeting, he was escorted out by police. (This is all on audio)"

Management company controlling the board?! I'm shocked!

Tyler Berding has assured us that

Homeowner volunteers are elected to serve on boards of directors....The volunteers realize that they don't have the time or experience to directly manage the association so they delegate some of their authority to professionals—managers, attorneys, accountants. The homeowner board and the professionals they hire try to follow the rules....Many owners see the “association” as a faceless antagonist run by people that they don't know. The reality is different. The “association” may be a corporation but in fact it is all of our neighbors

So who are you going to believe? An HOA attorney, or your own lying eyes and ears?

A lot of what Tyler writes is very good, and should be required reading by our policy makers. But, as in "It's Your Neighbors, Stupid", he always blames the homeowners for the apathy that his industry works so hard to create. Board members, property managers, and HOA attorneys are selfless saints just trying to help out the unworthy and unappreciative child-like homeowners.

Fred Fischer said...

COMMUNITY: a group of people living or working together who share common core values and a concern for the public good. National League of Cities, publication Building Citizen Involvement

One cannot use the words HOA and community in the same sentence, it’s an oxymoron. Because prospective CID property buyers were not present at the HOA creation table yet municipalities, developers, association industry members and others where, so whose community is it really ? After all those who exclusively create the HOA entity don’t typically interact, live in close proximity, share the same values, risks or have the same social and economic goals as the CID property buyers.

Historically the past voluntary created “neighborhood association” has been completely replaced by the municipality mandated “homeowners associations.” Which have been granted by the States and courts substantial authority over individual property owners (members) use and enjoyment of their properties. Often through industry lobbying by the HOA industry trade group that started in 1973 made up of self certified industry attorneys, property managers and others who have more or less seized control of the HOA system. By conscripting a group of lay people (Board) who have little or no experience or related education to manage such a complex corporate business. Which in the end guaranties little or nothing for the HOA members while at the same time guaranteeing that the developers, HOA industry members and municipalities will grow rich on HOAs?

Finally how can the association industry and others. Claim that HOAs are communities when those who make up its ultimate members, had no meeting of the minds at the creation table ? HOAs are a corporate entity created by others to primarily benefit others but community for its members, it’s not.