Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Municipal duties move to 'burbs as HOAs must step in

Municipal duties move to 'burbs as HOAs must step in

"It's the most dramatic privatization of local government services that we've ever seen," said Evan McKenzie, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and author of Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government.

Transferring these responsibilities to homeowner associations places more of a financial burden on individual homeowners and drives up the overall cost of housing, McKenzie said.

The costly repairs of aging streets or retaining ponds can become too much for a small group of residents in the community, particularly as many HOAs continue to reel from the lost revenue created by foreclosures, he said.

"I just think as a short-term solution to the fiscal problems of cities, what they created potentially is a long-term problem," McKenzie said.

"At some point, my question is this: Is not the responsibility going to come back to the municipality? They'll have slums on their hands."