Bouncing around the HOA warrior network right now is an interesting email from future Congressman Andy Ostrowski. He’s concerned that our political impact will be diluted because only 20% of Americans live in HOA gulags. He says to get any rational national reforms enacted we need to appeal to 80% of the voters. Reading the current Science News article on the Chikungunya virus gave me an inspiration. If it’s too juvenile a corollary then please forgive me.
Chikungunya is a nasty virus that’s made its way from Southeast Africa and Asia to America. It’s a horribly painful disease that can leave an infected victim with massive joint pain that lasts for years. If it infects babies 20% of them can become permanently disabled. In a matter of weeks it can infect hundreds of thousands of people, even up to 20% of the region where it’s spreading.
The virus spreads through mosquitoes and now for the first time it’s hopped from one species of equatorial mosquito to the tiger-striped mosquito that can be found in many parts of America. Now, if only 20% of the population gets infected, should the other 80% be concerned? Absolutely, say scientists at the Centers for Disease Control.
The HOA virus is another nasty disease that only infects about 20% of the population in this country. It’s spread by lawyers and is rapidly mutating and hopping to other hosts like property managers, Realtors, judges and low-level politicians. This disease is another one that’s spreading rapidly. Should the remaining 80% of homeowners be concerned? Absolutely.
The remaining 80% tell themselves, “I’ll never get infected. I’ll never live in a Homeowners Association. I’ll never have to deal with a relative’s estate that’s located in an infected zone.” Yet a simple job change, the desire to move to a warmer climate, any number of life’s challenges can put you into right into the middle of a zone where the HOA virus is epidemic.
Yes, absolutely, the 80% should be concerned.
(Science News article on runaway Chikungunya virus)
Every time somebody tells me they are living in a GOOD HOA, I think to myself…
That’s like saying they have a good type of cancer. There is no such thing! And NOBODY is immune or protected from a hellish HOA nightmare. Some are just luckier than others.
This is an issue of housing policy and the kind of governance Americans want at the hyper local level. Do still value freedom? Are property rights still important? Do we expect accountability from our leaders? Do we believe communitied should be controlled by its residents or held hostage by special interests?
And here’s another angle. A very small portion of the population identifies as gay. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/07/15/what-percentage-of-the-u-s-population-is-gay-lesbian-or-bisexual/ Yet the sentiment of the majority of Americans is in favor of legalizing same sex marriage, even though most will never choose to marry a same sex partner, and even though they will never personally face issues of derision and discrimination over their sexual orientation.
The American people are smart enough and compassionate enough to recognize the importance of a social issue when they are educated about the facts, and willing to support good policies and laws that guarantee equal protection for all who live in this great country.
Very well said, Deborah.
The 80% need to be concerned by situations such as I will post below, from North Carolina, because it is an ever growing “trend.” Forcing those not in mandatory HOAs into mandatory HOAs by some kind of neighborhood vote, or change by the developer/declarant! I just advised, not long ago, this has happened in a subdivision built back in the 1950’s with no mandatory HOA, in South Carolina, and now, if the homeowners don’t pay up for “assessment” the self pointed HOA board will lien their homes and foreclose! Who wants to be involved in one of these ridiculous, destructive and costly battles, due to the preferences of one, or a few, or someone involved in the industry influencing them with the “property value preservation” line, or other?
North Carolina homeowner Forced into HOA (homeowners association …
http://www.city-data.com › City-Data Forum › US Forums › North Carolina
Feb 8, 2011 – 10 posts – 5 authors
In North Carolina, can a homeowner be forced into a newly formed HOA if the developer did not form the HOA prior to the first lot being sold. … can generally be amended with 67% of the lot owners affirmative vote/consent). … In the past, we came together as neighbors every spring and had a clean up day …
HOA Lawsuit (Charlotte, Henderson: short sale, 2014 … 10 posts Apr 18, 2013
Uncomfortable with idea of HOA (2013, 5%, townhouse … 10 posts Jan 17, 2013
Why I Hate HOA’s (historical, vs, paying, Florida) – Real … 10 posts Jul 10, 2010
Is this HOA legit? (Asheville: days on market, sales, real … 6 posts Jul 13, 2008
More results from http://www.city-data.com
And, from Florida:
Can a Volunter HOA Be Made Mandatory Without Consent of the …
Aug 25, 2009 – I don’t want to join any homeowners’ association and would not have bought a house in this neighborhood if there had been a mandatory HOA. … mandatory instead of voluntary as the covenants state and force all of us to … Your HOA will need considerable funds for legal fees which for us required a vote.
It astonishes me whenever people say they like HOAs. Apparently they like receiving weekly “compliance letters” over the stupidest things and having the HOA ignore them when it matters. I guess they also like special assessments when the board screws up and love having their neighbors spy on them and report their violations to the board. Oh, I guess they also like inept property managers and board members who never graduated high school issuing threats that often make zero sense. Oh, and I guess they like having their dues raised constantly when the neighborhood is going to hell.