Wednesday, November 04, 2015


Joel Kotkin shows that sprawl and the exurban lifestyle are as popular as ever. This means more new HOAs and condos, so the die-hards who think they are going to abolish CID housing may want to read this.

"It’s time to put an end to the urban legend of the impending death of America’s suburbs. With the aging of the millennial generation, and growing interest from minorities and immigrants, these communities are getting a fresh infusion of residents looking for child-friendly, affordable, lower-density living."


IC_deLight said...

It means more housing period. It does not have to be burdened by HOAs. Condominiums and HOA property are not the same thing. Condominiums are more doomed than HOA housing. You should know that given the hundreds upon hundreds of failed condominium projects in Illinois.

Prospective homeowners need alternatives to HOA housing. These new houses are not in HOAs to meet buyer demand. They are burdened by HOAs for the benefit of just about everyone EXCEPT the buyer. Give the buyers an alternative and see how long CID housing lasts. CID housing ultimately fails on its own - enriching everyone except the homeowner in the meantime.

Deborah Goonan said...

Absolutely agree with IC_deLight. Buyers need non-HOA, non-condo/co-op alternatives. In some housing markets, it's even difficult to rent an apartment or a single family house that is not part of an Association-Governed Residential Community, especially due to a shortage of available rental properties. Why do you think so many condominium projects don't qualify for FHA financing due to low owner-occupancy levels?

CHPPI ( conducted a survey several months ago, and aksed resondents to rate the problem of "not enough non-HOA choices for buyers." Results: 64% rated this as a "very serious" problem, and an additional 20% rated the lack of options as "moderately serious."

The same group of survey respondents described their philosophy about HOAs (speaking generically to include condos and co-ops) as follows:

49% said that HOAs need to be signficantly reformed
25% said that HOAs should be abolished or phased out of existence
15% said most HOAs are OK, and laws just need to be "tweaked"
11% had some other philosophy that combined the need for reformation and phasing out, or "it's complicated."

We cannot force people who want to keep their HOAs to abolish them, and, for some people, a well-managed association (rare as that is) may serve their needs.

Efforts to reform Association-style governance can only go so far toward restoring democratic local government that upholds Constitutional, Civil, and property rights of the individual resident. Collective coporate ownership is, at its heart, incompatible with individual freedom and democratic process. Reform efforts can increase consumer disclosures, mandate transparency, reduce opportunities for abuse of power by Associations (and their managing agents and legal counsel), prevent disputes and create more equitable dispute resolution processes, and empower individual owners and residents to hold associations accountable -- whether controlled by developers or homeowners.

At the same time, members of aging and failing Associations need a way to phase out or opt out entirely, depending on the specific circumstances of the community. This is a complex and sticky process that industry and governments have been trying to avoid. Probelms with deterioation of community infrastrucure and enitre condo projects are also not going away. And no one wants to lead a sinking ship. Alternatives must be forthcoming, and we cannot simply rely on developers to purchase and redevelop entire communities as new Associations, recreating the environment for the same problems. The truth is, developers don't want the worst-off communities -- they only want the ones that are still in relatively good condition and located in a desirable location.

I believe there will have to be some structural change, shifting the way responsibilities are shared between owners/residents and local and state governments, and rethinking the role that developers should or should NOT play. Homeownership and the ability to live in safe, affordable housing must NOT be all about "property values" - ie. increasing the property tax base and real estate industry profitability - at the expense of social values, individual rights, and long-term, stable equity growth for property owners.