The Hydra Begins to Emerge

In Greek mythology, the Hydra was a terrifying sea monster that had many heads and used them to devour innocent seafarers. Our hero, Heracles, forced the Hydra into the open and began chopping off its heads. But each time a head was severed two new ones grew back. It seemed like a hopeless task but Heracles was undaunted. He finally figured out that if he used a torch to cauterize each severed limb they failed to regrow.

The news this week that the nation’s two largest HOA management monsters were getting cozier with each other was beyond astonishing. Top officials for Associa are being given all sorts of awards by the CAI and vice versa. Could a merger between the two organizations be in the future? Former Texas state senator John Carona and his ethically-challenged Associa would be perfect in a merger with the similarly ethics-challenged Community Associations Institute. Such a new organization would control tens of billions of dollars worth of income-producing properties. It’s a monster. Each person in this country who thinks he owns his own home should start facing the facts. You are John Carona’s income-producer. Carona, as one of the most influential power-brokers in Texas government, built his vast wealth by sponsoring and passing state laws that directly increased his personal bank balance. Now he’s buying infrastructure around his thousands of HOAs so that homeowners have no other option but to bank in his banks and buy insurance from his insurance companies.

Associa and the CAI? Together?  And this massive (anti-trust?) organization which perpetuates the lie that it represents homeowners, when it actually only represents its own income stream from dues-paying lawyers and management companies, is becoming a regrowth of the legendary Hydra.

The symbol of The Torch is often used to represent light, the shedding of light on a dark subject. Maybe, just maybe, we can take a lesson from Heracles, the slayer of monsters. We just need to find a way to cauterize these various heads to keep them from growing back.

(link to ethics problems in Carona-ville)

(link to CAI awards for Associa)



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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

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