HARRISBURG – Today, Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe/Pike), chairwoman of the House Urban Affairs Committee, along with fellow members of the committee approved a set of community reform bills focused on strengthening consumer protection, ensuring home owner associations (HOA) and common interest owned communities (CIOC) are operating efficiently and with integrity.
“Over the years, I have personally witnessed how much our HOAs and CIOCs have grown within our local communities and across our Commonwealth,” said Brown who has been a longtime HOA and CIOC advocate. “With my new leadership role here in the House, I am proud to bring my experiences to the table to make a positive impact for the people with this longstanding issue, which remains a top priority for the committee. I am pleased to have helped create and develop this legislative bill package with my colleagues.”
Brown contributed her own House Bill 1795
to this comprehensive bill package, which she began working on three years ago. Brown also communicated her disappointment during today’s voting meeting of the Community Association Institute’s lack of professionalism and dishonesty about her working with them on these issues and the incorrect information they presented in recent articles.
House Bill 1795 would accomplish the following:
• Require CIOCs to receive the approval of a majority of their unit owners to amend the community’s bylaws.
• Require unit owners in a community larger than 100 units to provide their ballot to an independent third party for board elections, who will then certify results to the community and all unit owners, as well as require communities to include some sort of “meet the candidates” opportunity during the board election process for unit owners to meet individuals running for board positions, with equal time provided to each candidate.
• Strongly encourages all CIOCs currently not under the guidelines provided by Title 68 to vote to come under the statute by making it clear that any violation of Title 68 or the by-laws and declaration of the community would be considered an unfair trade practice and be reported to the Office of Attorney General.
This bill aims to ensure bylaw changes are voted on correctly, and the voting processes and framework are strengthened.
The other key bill components of this package are as follows:
House Bill 1840
, introduced by Rep. Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny), would strengthen the real estate disclosure process for a purchaser in a CIOC (this includes planned communities, cooperatives, and condominiums) by adding a stronger, easy to read statement for a purchaser to sign and acknowledge that they have received the documents and understand fully the structure and function of the CIOC. This bill focuses on ensuring purchasers understand the structure and governance of their new property.
House Bill 1839
, introduced by Rep. Brian Smith (R-Indiana/Jefferson), would encourage and permit cooperative agreements and joint purchasing between municipalities and common interest owned communities as well as incentivize these types of agreements by allowing municipalities to forgo competitive bidding, and other municipal obligations in these types of purchases under certain circumstances. This bill seeks to assist these communities with their cost drivers and largest expenses.
House Resolution 69
, introduced by Rep. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny), would direct the Joint State Government Commission to study CIOCs in Pennsylvania. This resolution would update the study which is almost 10 years old and clarify efforts of policy initiatives needed.
The House Urban Affairs Committee is responsible for reviewing legislation regarding housing, specifically affordable housing; community redevelopment; economic development; land use planning and zoning; growth management; infrastructure financing; and issues regarding Pennsylvania's cities.
For additional information about other legislative actions taken by this committee or legislation that currently resides with the committee, visit legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/cteeInfo/Index.cfm?Code=40&CteeBody=H
Representative Rosemary M. Brown
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abby Chiumento