Thursday, January 20, 2022

Florida Realtors: Surfside Collapse Challenges Many Older Condos

 People buy condo units and don't want to pay to fund the reserve fund. They are gambling that they will be gone by the time major repairs are unavoidable and the huge special assessment lands. This problem is inherent in the way condos and HOAs are set up. The only way to remedy the situation is for government to get involved, but the interest groups that represent all the professionals who serve private communities are opposed to that.


Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Yahoo News: After Surfside, aging condos called time bombs

Mentions me and some of the other things that are being said on this issue.

Are Chicago condos safe from structural failure?

This is a panel discussion on the state of play for Chicago condos. I am one of the three guests.

Climate change could cost condos billions--and they aren't ready for it.

This is the piece by me that has attracted quite a bit of attention. It's great that the news media are covering the issue of condo associations and the challenges they face with property maintenance, but it's awful that it took this tragedy to make that happen. I hope state and federal legislators enact laws that put in place the right kind of oversight. I will writing more about that but it would include:

1. Making developers establish large reserve funds and set assessments at the proper level, as determined by independent experts on reserve requirements.

2. Mandatory reserve studies and updates every three years.

3. Publishing reserve studies on a government web site

4. Publishing on government and industry web sites of a rating -- what percent funded is the association's reserve account, when compared with the reserve study.

5. Free training for all association members, directors, and officers--at public expense.

This is a start. There is more that I will talk about later.

Bloomberg Businessweek: Aging condos are a ticking time bomb

This article has some quotes by me and also one of the best international scholars on this subject, Prof. Amnon Lehavi of IDC Herzliya Law School in Israel. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Private Metropolis -- now available!

 Dennis Judd, Alba Alexander, and I have a new edited book out from University of Minnesota Press. It is Private Metropolis: The Eclipse of Local Democratic Governance. It is available now from Amazon or from the publisher. Here's a summary from the publisher:

"Examines the complex ecology of quasi-public and privatized institutions that mobilize and administer many of the political, administrative, and fiscal resources of today’s metropolitan regions: In recent decades metropolitan regions in the United States have witnessed the rise of multitudes of “shadow governments” that often supersede or replace functions traditionally associated with municipalities and other local governments inherited from the urban past. The essays in Private Metropolis grapple with the difficult and timely questions that arise from this new ecology of governance, provoking a long-overdue debate about the future of urban governance."

Monday, May 24, 2021

Australia’s first private ‘city’ to get 10,000 apartments | ArchitectureAU

Australia’s first private ‘city’ to get 10,000 apartments | ArchitectureAU
"Developer Greater Springfield Land Corporation has unveiled a plan to build 10,000 apartments in south-east Queensland’s Greater Springfield, the first privately developed, self-proclaimed ‘city’ in Australia.

The apartment precinct, planned and designed by Woods Bagot and Place Design Group, will be a $6 billion undertaking over 15 years. Chairman of the Greater Springfield Land Corporation, Malaysian-born Maha Sinnathamby, along with business partner Bob Sharpless, purchased the 2,860-hectare parcel of land that is now Greater Springfield for $7.6 million in 1992. Sinnathamby then spent years lobbying the Queensland state government to support his proposal for a city, which he envisioned as an alternative to the Brisbane CBD, to be built on the site. Planning permission for the project required an act of parliament and in 1997, the enabling legislation, the Local Government (Springfield Zoning) Act passed with the support of all 89 MPs of the Queensland parliament."


82-year-old woman to lose her Inglewood home after owing $38K in HOA fees | KTLA

82-year-old woman to lose her Inglewood home after owing $38K in HOA fees | KTLA

Monday, March 15, 2021

Florida's feral hogs: a pervasive pest – but a profitable one for some | Environment | The Guardian

Florida's feral hogs: a pervasive pest – but a profitable one for some | Environment | The Guardian
Florida's large private communities are getting visitors: feral hogs.
"Florida’s plight is especially severe because the state’s current housing boom, spurred by the pandemic, is rapidly turning the once rural stretches between Tampa and Orlando into a single conurbation. The same goes for the creeping inland sprawl in the rest of the state: wetlands, pine forests and vestigial orange groves that were recently hog habitats have become densely populated housing developments, strings of red-roofed tract homes and retirement communities. The majority of Florida’s new exurban residents, seniors in particular, are living closer to hogs than ever before. “The new houses go up, and the hogs leave for a while, but they always come back,” Pompi says. He mentions the communes for adults over 55 in central Florida like The Villages, the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the US from 2010-2017, and its smaller counterpart, Solivita, a planned community inhabited by 6,000 baby boomers – Xanadu for the “active adult”.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021