In my story this week on the potential pitfalls for buyers of price-restricted units in condo towers downtown, I referenced a bill currently in front of state lawmakers:

The issue is the gist of a bill, AB 952, under discussion by state lawmakers that would restrict resident associations from imposing major increases to HOA dues for residents who have purchased units saved for households at low and moderate incomes. Nothing’s worse, proponents of the bill argue, than helping someone own a home only to see them lose it when they can’t weather their HOA payments.

Most of the people I spoke to supported that bill. But after the story ran, I heard from reader KR, who has an interesting perspective about the other owners in the building.

Here’s a bit from that e-mail:

Can you imagine the conflict within condominium projects when a small minority of the homes are given veto power over the majority? What is the answer? Shall we exempt the affordable owners from having to pay their fair share of the re-roofing of their building? That is obvious(ly) just as unfair.

I do not think it is unfair to surmise that affordable unit owners will tend to oppose anything which would increase their expenses.

This bill is an example of a laudable motivation bringing about severely negative consequences. 

The answer is not to handcuff associations from properly maintaining and repairing their complexes, nor is it to exempt affordable housing unit owners their fair share of the expenses of their complex. Is it not fair to expect that the owner of an affordable housing unit, who received a greatly discounted entry into the real estate market, pay for the owner’s fair share of the upkeep of that home?  If the upkeep of that home is to somehow be continually subsidized, then it would seem very unfair to have the other owners in the community provide that subsidy.

I’d be curious to know what you think. If you’ve got something to share, click my name below to send me a note. Have a good weekend.


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