QUICK LINKS: Read our Spring 2016 Newsletter!
New Seton Hall Law School Survey! This important new survey from the Seton Hall Law School focuses on the problems that exist in CICs and possible solutions for reform. Read it here!
Do you have a problem in your community? Is management ignoring your rights? The Common-Interest Homeowner Coalition (C-IHC) is an independent, non-profit organization which is dedicated to bring democratic reform to residential community homeowners associations. These include:
- Town homes
- Planned Unit Residential Developments
You Are Not Alone.
MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of the Common-Interest Homeowners Coalition of New Jersey is to serve as the independent voice for homeowners in New Jersey residential community associations, to promote and strengthen democratic governance, and to advance the general welfare of homeowners.
C-IHC is an independent non-profit organization composed of owners of common-interest residential associations, including condominiums, town homes, planned unit developments, and cooperatives. The Coalition will serve as the voice of homeowners to legislators, government officials, industry practitioners, association Boards of Directors, and the general public, on matters directly related to residency in homeowner associations. The C-IHC will, on its own and with others develop and encourage appropriate principles, procedures, and practices of democratic association governance; work to remove impediments to such practices; and establish legal and efficient mechanisms to ensure vigorous enforcement of these democratic procedures
Homeowners must have effective agencies for participating within their associations in matters affecting their general welfare. C-IHC aims to ensure a democratic experience to homeowners at the most local level of governance as a means of strengthening these processes in the larger community, state, and nation.
As mandated by our Mission Statement, C-IHC represents ALL New Jersey's CIC owners. Visit our Get Involved link to find out how to support C-IHC!
Contact the national homeowners'organization, HOA-USA.
New Jersey's HOAs Exposed
A similar situation developed in New Jersey. Fortunately, in 1997, the NJ Legislature enacted the Assembly Task Force To Study Homeowner Associations, which consisted of three Legislators (Bateman, Gregg, and Wisniewski), one Developer's Attorney, one Managing agent, two CAI attorneys, and two HOA Board Members. Although the Task Force was hardly representative of the interests of the individual homeowner, the hearings did draw the testimony and recommendations from many homeowners, including those from Lois and Sam Pratt, two of C-IHC’s founding members.
At these hearings many homeowners learned that problems in their associations were not unique and similar conflicts were occurring throughout the state. It quickly became apparent that boards were acting as they did because they could! There was virtually no limit to how they exercised their power despite the negative impact it had on homeowners.
Winds of Change
The published testimony from the Task Force hearings was filled with overwhelming evidence of associations’ poor governance and unfair operations. A magnificent Task Force Report of desirable legislative reforms was prepared. In addition, the Task Force recognized that associations should no longer be considered business simply because they are corporate. Instead, the prevailing principle that Associations are quasi-governmental entities, and as such, should be subject to the same regulations as public governmental bodies, was adopted. This distinction was of utmost importance because it requires the practice of open meetings, conflict of interest provisions, and other modes of operation that homeowners are entitled to but rarely experience.
In April 1997, seventeen homeowners formed the Common-Interest Homeowners Coalition Incorporated (C-IHC), equipped with bylaws and a mission statement. Since then, we have grown into a successful non-profit organization with over 100 members all over New Jersey...and we are still growing! C-IHC has publicly endorsed the Task Force Report and incorporated it into a competing piece of legislation, S-2016 (in the Senate) and A-3988 (in the Assembly). We have developed charts of comparisons between the Task Force recommendations with the comparable provision in UCIOA and have found that UCIOA consistently comes up short in protecting homeowners. In contrast, S-2016 and A-3988 propose practical methods of functioning HOAs while still protecting homeowners’ interests. We have gained the support of several state legislators who appreciate our positions as being different from those of the industry groups.
We are advocates for ALL current or former homeowner in New Jersey who is or was a member of a residential community such as a condominium, town-home, cooperative or planned unit development and who shares in the mission and goals of C-IHC. Contact info is on the homepage of the website for information on how to support our efforts.
The CIHC will come to your community, when invited, to speak about CIC history, owner issues and current legislation, and to help you form an owner group so you can be heard by your, Board, Property Manager and legislators.
Contact us for more information.