The Arizona Republic

For decades, it was next to impossible to get attention from the news media on HOA abuses. I’m not sure how new Arizona Realtor Jill Schweitzer is to the game. I haven’t asked her. But she’s getting the kind of news media attention that few others have been able to achieve. Yes, psychologist Dr. Gary Solomon, Dr. Evan McKenzie and George Staropoli have been the frequent go-to experts on how scary life in an HOA can be.

But Jill Schweitzer is showing that it’s actually possible to get reporters interested in reporting the other side.

Poinciana Crisis Instructive For All Of Us

guest blog by Deborah Goonan

Lots of news in Poinciana the past couple of weeks. As you know, Poinciana HOA, one of the largest in the country with more than 23,000 homes, has been seeing quite a bit of turmoil, particularly in the last 6 months. In April, then Board President Peter Jolly made allegations of financial mismanagement by the management company and millions of dollars missing from assessment reserves. In June, a third attempt to move toward incorporation of Poinciana as a city failed, when the Osceola County Legislative Delegation voted 2-2 on the measure.

Can Dinosaurs Wreck Property Values?

Oh, Lordy, I love this job! It never gets old.

Good neighborhoods are quirky. That’s because people are quirky, and their quirks keep us all smiling and make the world go ’round. The problem with Homeowners Associations is that they’re bland, bleached, with a sameness that brings everyone to the same level. Standing out from the crowd is a well-known guaranty of getting yourself sued.

The New Territory Residential Community Association in Sugar Land, Texas is having a conniption fit over some ‘yard art’ in front of one family’s home. Other families have decorative lions in their front yards. But the Hentschel family has put up some beautifully made statuary that’s unique: metal sculptures of a velociraptor and a T-Rex.

“Damn the Disabled!” -Brookfield Farms HOA

Discrimination has long been a hallmark of the modern HOA movement. The disabled, Negroes, Orientals, members of the Mongol race, gays, the handicapped, non-married adults. I’ve seen that in my own Colorado HOA, stories I relate in my book, Neighbors At War. I’ve seen it firsthand, but since starting this website I’ve been stunned at the number of blatantly racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic stories that are happening daily in American homeowner associations. There just aren’t enough courtrooms to handle all those cases, Ah, there are enough lawyers, to be sure. More than enough. Just not enough courtrooms.

Eviction? Over A Fake Confederate Flag?

Some HOA controversies are just a little too hard for my poor brain to figure out.

In Naples, Florida, the Timberwood of Naples HOA is planning to evict a family because their mentally disabled teenage son put up a Confederate flag in his window.

I’m a longtime defender of the First Amendment who doesn’t think ANYONE should be able to restrict the free speech rights of another. And certainly I understand the sensitivity about the Confederate flag especially when its display is supported by tax monies.