Deborah Goonan accurately describes the environment and culture of HOA-Land, that dispersed and fragmented nationwide collection of subdivisions ruled by authoritarian HOA governments. In her blog, What is the root cause of HOA dysfunction?, she covers issues like a “flawed government model,” and “apathy is a symptom of a ‘sick’ association, not the cause.”
She contrasts the good old days of civic and neighborhood associations of neighbors, not mandatory members with forced mandatory membership ruled by a developer created “constitution” handed down to homebuyers. “But civic involvement in mandatory, developer-created HOAs is very rarely seen.”
Deborah demonstrates her understanding of the legal nature and structure of the HOA concept: “The HOA is not the community itself – neither its physical structure nor its people.” It’s a form of de facto political government that is unrecognized by state governments and allowed to operate outside the law — outside the Constitution.
The HOA government creates dysfunctional communities, as Deborah points out, where the health, safety and general welfare are focused on property values. The “first and only legitimate object of good government” is, according to Thomas Jefferson, “The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction.”