There are thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of news articles about people who’ve been royally shafted in the American HOA system. There’s a very good article in today’s Fort Worth Weekly entitled “Hostage, Sweet Hostage.” It tells the story of a family who moved into a Texas HOA looking for security and safety. But an argument over a vehicle led to harrassment, fines, lawsuits and has cost this family their peace of mind.
Although this blog is mainly aimed at an American audience, I’ve been getting international email about Homeowner Association problems around the world! Most of you already know it, but most other countries don’t use the terms “HOA, POA, CID”, etc. For them it’s “Strata”, or high rise vertical real estate. And don’t think for a moment that strata are exempt from dictatorial and arbitrary management, revenge foreclosures, denial of rights, embezzlement, corruption, extortion and Mafia-like control.
The latest email directed me to a newspaper article in Malaysia. And it’s well-worth reading!
Treading where angels fear to go, a columnist for the Press-Enterprise in Inland Southern California wades into the swamp of HOA racism. He ponders whether a Sun City HOA there is racist, because it wouldn’t allow the NAACP to use its meeting house.
Certainly, racism is an oft-documented problem in American HOAs. There are too many such cases to even count. And subtle racism is even harder to measure. But many HOAs across the country have either no minorities at all, or percentages as small as one or two percent. While that’s no way to measure racial divides, it can make one pause and reflect.
The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against a Florida Homeowners Association. The issue is whether it’s legal for an HOA to discriminate against families with children. The Federal Government claims in its lawsuit that the Townhomes of Kings Lake HOA have a pattern of violating the Fair Housing Act by harassing and taking action against families with children.
In one such case, the HOA threatened to evict a couple and their six children because the number of children exceeded HOA covenants. The Justice Department claims by unduly limiting the number of children, the HOA was in violation of federal law.