We currently have some projects that are raising HOA fees beyond the ability of affordable buyers to pay them. In some cases these are special assessments, some are co-housing and other highly amenitized projects. Does anyone have examples of ways to deal with high fees? Rick,
If you read this, have you done or do you know of any research in this area.
Some jurisdictions have small grant programs ($500-1500) for strapped homeowners who are facing repairs. The special assessment is presumably for a repair and would fit the program. Co-op owners in Greenbelt, MD used such fiunds from Prince George's County.
The mixed income highly amenitized project is the lender's worst fear. Will the rich jack up the fees beyond what more moderate income folks can afford? Not often, but affordable homebuyers and their lenders may have more protection in de minimis HOAs where sweat equity is an option and they are not paying for amenities that they are not using.
I think that this is one of the biggest issues in IZ that there is not currently a fully satisfying solution for. There seem to be a few promising ideas but nothing that seems likely to work everywhere. Have you seen this other discussion thread on the topic: http://forum.housingpolicy.org/group/inclusionaryzoning/forum/topic...
This link to an earlier discussion is quite helpful. There are a lot of good ideas there.
HOA documents generally state a maximum HOA fee that can be raised no more than the CPI unless owners vote a higher fee by a substantial margin--like 2/3 of those voting or an absolute 51% of all owners. The law of affirmative covenants requires a limitation. FHA also requires a max. For this reason, many HOAs run recreation amenities like swimming pools as subscription services, not funded through dues. Golf courses, as well.
Returning to my observation of a year ago, IZ HOAs should be structured as low amenity-included-in-fee. Exterior maintenance of the townhouse should be an owner responsibility, not an HOA funded responsibility. Put amenities that are costly to operate into a user fee mode.