HOA’s Harm
Discrimination HOA Owners Hidden-in-Plain-Sight
Would it surprise you to know that the HOA-Industry (aka, Common Interest Developments or CID’s) began in the late 1960’s as a way to get around civil-rights laws? Yes, it’s true! Since then, HOA’s have also become a way for land developers, home builders, real estate agents and politicians to obtain a captive audience to sell “their dreams” of environmental-control, greater security and desirable amenities to otherwise unsuspecting homebuyers – dreams that benefit them far more than homeowners. Due to these “roots”, HOA’s have become one of the largest and latest arenas for perpetrating discrimination against another HUGE group of citizens – HOMEOWNERS. First, HOA’s provide local governments with easy ways to escape traditional duties: road building and maintenance, sewage system construction and maintenance, water system construction and maintenance, policing, fire and flood protection, etc. HOA owners pay “assessments” (aka “dues”) to cover these services. But, then, HOA owners STILL pay local property taxes, just as other non-HOA residents; except that HOA owners can’t get any of those tax-supported-services from the local government, e.g., policing. Secondly, HOA laws in almost all States decisively favor the governing Boards of those HOA’s. Most all HOA’s are legally organized as “private, non-profit corporations.” These two factors alone have led to the development of numerous dilemmas for owners: (1) Although all US Constitutional Rights do apply to HOA owners, this fact has been repeatedly defied, questioned and legally challenged by HOA’s Nationwide; (2) Near unilateral power is vested in Boards, with owner/members having little formal power, plus, there are few built-in mechanisms through which owners can realistically challenge and change Board actions; (3) Most States have few, if any, HOA regulations that are actively, vigorously enforced; (4) HOA owners are left to the realm of human-nature in formulating and developing their community- culture; (5) Because most HOA are non-profit corporations, “corporate sovereignty” and “corporate mentality”, too often become the default HOA-culture.” Thirdly, another result of the foregoing has been a proliferation of HOA’s wherein the “Good Ol’ Boys and Girls” (GOBGOG) social-systems have developed a strong-hold that just won’t let-go. Most disturbingly, within this type of system, “HOA Best Practices” no matter how well promoted by the HOA Industry stand but a feeble chance. This leaves owners with even fewer options -- learn to work the “Good Ol’ Boy” system, join them or get elected to the Board -- none of which tend to work out that well. NO “Assistance” from local, State or Federal agencies - Their help to understand or resolve HOA issues is fruitless. Similarly, most private “watchdog” groups and investigative journalism sources have no interest in HOA’s. Although there is a growing number of National and State groups providing “HOA owner advocacy”, there are only a few and their influence, so far, seems minimal. In a concerted and prolonged effort to find help in dealing with our HOA’s corruption, we contacted almost 2 dozen “resources.” Despite having significant amounts of evidence (not rumor or hearsay; from official Association records) of contracting fraud, election fraud, theft/embezzlement, serious violations of the Davis-Stirling Act (e.g., severe neglect of amenities), conflict-of-interest and abuse-of-power, here’s a partial list (some were contacted several times) with these results: County Sheriff – No Response County Grand Jury – No Response County DA – No Response County News Outlets – occasional publication as “letters to the editor” CA State AG – require complainant to “Prove” complaint(s) CA RE Dept. – Not Their Jurisdiction CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs – Not Their Jurisdiction Cal/OSHA – Not Their Jurisdiction CA Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing - must “Prove” discrimination CA Franchise Tax Board – No Response (misuse of non-profit status) CA Criminal Investigation Unit – No Response (corruption) District US Congressman – No Help; only politically oriented CA District Assemblyperson - Same CA District Senator - Same
HOA’s Harm
Discrimination HOA Owners Hidden-in-Plain-Sight
Would it surprise you to know that the HOA-Industry (aka, Common Interest Developments or CID’s) began in the late 1960’s as a way to get around civil-rights laws? Yes, it’s true! Since then, HOA’s have also become a way for land developers, home builders, real estate agents and politicians to obtain a captive audience to sell “their dreams” of environmental-control, greater security and desirable amenities to otherwise unsuspecting homebuyers – dreams that benefit them far more than homeowners. Due to these “roots”, HOA’s have become one of the largest and latest arenas for perpetrating discrimination against another HUGE group of citizens – HOMEOWNERS. First, HOA’s provide local governments with easy ways to escape traditional duties: road building and maintenance, sewage system construction and maintenance, water system construction and maintenance, policing, fire and flood protection, etc. HOA owners pay “assessments” (aka “dues”) to cover these services. But, then, HOA owners STILL pay local property taxes, just as other non-HOA residents; except that HOA owners can’t get any of those tax-supported-services from the local government, e.g., policing. Secondly, HOA laws in almost all States decisively favor the governing Boards of those HOA’s. Most all HOA’s are legally organized as “private, non-profit corporations.” These two factors alone have led to the development of numerous dilemmas for owners: (1) Although all US Constitutional Rights do apply to HOA owners, this fact has been repeatedly defied, questioned and legally challenged by HOA’s Nationwide; (2) Near unilateral power is vested in Boards, with owner/members having little formal power, plus, there are few built-in mechanisms through which owners can realistically challenge and change Board actions; (3) Most States have few, if any, HOA regulations that are actively, vigorously enforced; (4) HOA owners are left to the realm of human-nature in formulating and developing their community- culture; (5) Because most HOA are non-profit corporations, “corporate sovereignty” and “corporate mentality”, too often become the default HOA-culture.” Thirdly, another result of the foregoing has been a proliferation of HOA’s wherein the “Good Ol’ Boys and Girls” (GOBGOG) social-systems have developed a strong-hold that just won’t let-go. Most disturbingly, within this type of system, “HOA Best Practices” no matter how well promoted by the HOA Industry stand but a feeble chance. This leaves owners with even fewer options -- learn to work the “Good Ol’ Boy” system, join them or get elected to the Board -- none of which tend to work out that well. NO “Assistance” from local, State or Federal agencies - Their help to understand or resolve HOA issues is fruitless. Similarly, most private “watchdog” groups and investigative journalism sources have no interest in HOA’s. Although there is a growing number of National and State groups providing “HOA owner advocacy”, there are only a few and their influence, so far, seems minimal. In a concerted and prolonged effort to find help in dealing with our HOA’s corruption, we contacted almost 2 dozen “resources.” Despite having significant amounts of evidence (not rumor or hearsay; from official Association records) of contracting fraud, election fraud, theft/embezzlement, serious violations of the Davis-Stirling Act (e.g., severe neglect of amenities), conflict-of-interest and abuse-of-power, here’s a partial list (some were contacted several times) with these results: County Sheriff – No Response County Grand Jury – No Response County DA – No Response County News Outlets – occasional publication as “letters to the editor” CA State AG – require complainant to “Prove” complaint(s) CA RE Dept. – Not Their Jurisdiction CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs – Not Their Jurisdiction Cal/OSHA – Not Their Jurisdiction CA Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing - must “Prove” discrimination CA Franchise Tax Board – No Response (misuse of non-profit status) CA Criminal Investigation Unit – No Response (corruption) District US Congressman – No Help; only politically oriented CA District Assemblyperson - Same CA District Senator - Same FBI – issues TOO local, TOO small, TOO minor IRS – will investigate “If Able” (private inurement; misuse of non-profit status) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – No Response US Justice Dept. Criminal Investigation Unit – No Jurisdiction Center for Investigative Reporting (Berkeley, CA) – No Response Ripoff Report – posted complaint online CA Common Sense – No Response Watchdog. Org - Same Consumer Watchdog – Same back to Contents