Tag Archives: HOA discrimination

HOA Racism Remains

In my book, Neighbors At War, I delve deeply into this nation’s history of the enforcement of racially restrictive covenants in millions of property deeds across the country. Yes, we’ve made a ton of progress in the last five decades in wiping out housing discrimination. But in little spots around the country the old mindset remains. Every time I see one of these stories pop up I consider it a national shame that a few people still live in the racist past.

A black man in Texas is in court trying to rent a home in an all-white property owners association. A covenant in the Clearwater Bay POA mandated that homeowners never rent or sell to “anyone of African descent.”

As I write these words I’m looking at an amazing anthropology article in the current issue of National Geographic. The article is about the recent discovery of a new species of bi-pedal hominid in a cave near Johannesburg, South Africa.  No matter what your religious or political beliefs are, every human being on the face of this planet is “of African descent.” The black man in that Texas POA should hire a few expert witness anthropologists for his federal discrimination case. They’ll be able to prove in court that not a single member of that Association qualifies for home ownership under its own covenants.

We are all black. And yes, black lives matter.

(link to KSLA story on Texas discrimination case)

(link to National Geographic story on Homo naledi, a new species on the human family tree)




Free Speech in an HOA? Forget About It

A fundamental right most Americans think they have is Free Speech. It’s a bedrock of the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment is so ingrained in the minds of Americans that most would swear that their freedom of speech and religion cannot be compromised.

Welcome to the world of the HOA, where Free Speech and Freedom of Religion is trashed every day. There are high court decisions which are often quoted as giving the typical HOA the right to deny your First Amendment freedoms. Google “Twin Rivers decision” to find a significant State Supreme Court decision which essentially says you don’t have the right to inform your neighbors about your political beliefs.

Or Google “HOA Mezuzah” to find out what many HOAs think of Jews.

I could go a hundred directions with this. But the bottom line is that when you join an HOA, you are essentially sacrificing a number of your Constitutional rights in favor of “the collective.”

The HOA collective has the right to restrict your expression of religion, your political beliefs, your right to assembly, your right to due process, your right to bear arms. And that’s the nail point upon which many homeowners have crucified themselves, their families and their personal wealth.

Do you have the right to “be black and live in a white HOA?” Not necessarily, especially if there’s no federally backed mortgage involved in a home purchase.

Unbelievable? Google “HOA discrimination” to see a sample of cases where being black, disabled, gay, or a single mom have been targeted, stigmatized, sued and foreclosed upon.

There’ve been a few cases here and there where HOAs have been fined because of discriminatory practices. But those cases are rare. It’s much more common to see homeowners lose their homes when they happen to be black, gay, single, disabled or have young children.

Still don’t believe it? There’s a book coming out this summer which might open your eyes.

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association