This one is so amazing it’s not even amazing! I would even go so far as to call the California Legislature racist!
Assembly Member Donald Wagner introduced a bill to make the state’s Open Meetings law apply to the boards of Homeowners Associations. The CAI and its minions of lawyers and lobbyists descended on the Legislature like flies on a carcass. Only one member of the Housing Committee voted in favor of allowing homeowners to know what their boards were doing.
California has many homeowners whose English-speaking skills are limited. Under current California law, you’re not even allowed to bring an interpreter or representative to a board meeting.
Madonna may decide her uppity New York co-op neighbors aren’t worth the rent. She’s suing because the co-op board doesn’t want Madonna’s kids or domestic help staying there when she isn’t physically in the building.
In the story linked below, I don’t read that she’s suing for racial discrimination, but I’d bet my last dollar that’s going to be a central point of her lawsuit. Some white folks just don’t like it when people of color are around. That’s how the whole HOA movement got started in the first place. Don’t believe me? Go look in the title history of your property deed!
It seems like all the weird stuff happens in Vegas.
People in the Spring Valley Homeowners Association are outraged after someone sent out letters, supposedly from the HOA’s law firm asking owners not to rent or sell their homes to Blacks, Orientals, Jews.
Obviously, such a letter wasn’t sent out by an HOA. It’s just an idiot sending out a hate letter meant to provoke.
On the other hand, that’s nearly identical to the verbiage in tens of millions of real estate deeds in HOAs all across America. It’s nearly impossible to get that old language taken out of property records. Our history haunts us, doesn’t it?
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.
There’s a fascinating article in the Washington Post about how the foreclosure crisis is leading to increased segregation in American neighborhoods. The article is worth reading, even though it doesn’t directly target Homeowners Associations.
There are interesting implications, though. The big irony is that the modern homeowner association movement started in 1964 shortly after the Civil Rights Act was passed. White homeowners and developers recoiled at the thought of minorities moving into white neighborhoods and made sure subtle racial controls were woven into the HOA system.