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May 2014

Jennifer Loheac, Esq. – Becker & Poliakoff
Legislative Action Committee

Last October, the Community Association’s Institute (CAI) launched its inaugural Government Affairs Summit in Washington D.C. The exciting two-day event drew volunteer leaders and lobbyists from around the Country for discussions on federal and state issues affecting thousands of community associations. Attendees discussed advocacy at the most local levels of state chapters as well as predominant federal issues of paramount importance to associations across the County.

Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in the halls of congress, speaking directly to officials from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives about first-hand accounts of community-suffering during Superstorm Sandy and during the economic downturn of the last years.

One of the essential discussion points of the Summit and of key concern still today is the fact that associations cannot access FEMA aid during a natural disaster, due in large part to archaic regulations that neglected to contemplate common interest community living when originally drafted. As a result of more recent advocacy and heightened awareness of this gap in emergency relief for communities, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed into law this past January. Under this law, FEMA is required to study and document how condominiums and cooperatives access federal disaster assistance through the Individuals and Households Assistance Program. This FEMA report was due in mid-April, and CAI is eagerly anticipating its release.

Another priority for CAI relates to properties that are abandoned and fall into neglect and disrepair. With the dilapidation of these properties also comes abandonment of obligations to pay assessments. As members in attendance at the Summit explained to representatives of FHA, too many of these vacated, HUD-owned properties not only create maintenance problems relating to a particular unit—-they cause harm to whole communities, as remaining resident owners are forced to effectively subsidize excessive, unpaid delinquencies of vacated homes in order to keep the community afloat. Because lenders consider the risk of entire communities before extending loans, failed properties– even a few–adversely affect financing and marketability as it extends to the whole association.

As a result of CAI National’s ongoing communications with FHA as well as the success of the Summit held last October, HUD responded with a promise to partner with communities to alleviate some of these problems. By letter to CAI, HUD recognized the success of the October Summit and provided a list of regional field service managers accessible to our members; the list is below. These managers may be contacted for problems concerning property conditions as well as HOA assessment delinquencies. If, for some reason, a field manager is non-responsive or fails to be effective, members are directed to call 1-800-CALL-FHA to reach one of the HUD supervisors.

Several members of CAI have already reported success reaching out the field managers.

REGIONAL SERVICE MANAGERS:

PHILADELPHIA – FMS Contractor

AMS
Greg Harrison
2021 Hartel Street
Levittown, PA 19057
800-781-1558
gharrison@amsreo.com

A-SONS
Milan Thompson
1301 E. Riggin Road
Muncie, IN 47303
765-282-2100
mthompson@asons.net

IEI-TIDEWATER
Tiffany Lederle
27260 Haggerty Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
248-994-0213
tiffany.lederle@tideh2o.net

SIGMA
Vivian M. Solodkin
2300 Knoll Drive, Suite E 
Ventura, CA 93003
805-642-8377
vivian@sigmaconstruct.com

A2Z
Amie Sparks
7450 Industrial Parkway, Suite 105 
Plain City, OH 43064
614-873-0211
asparks@a2zfs.com

CITYSIDE / HHN
Christopher Dolloff
22 Greeley Street, Suite 5 
Merrimack, NH 03054
603-423-0313
cdolloff@citysidecorp.com

INNOTION
Al Espinoza
610 Professional Drive, Suite 215 
Gaithersburg, MD 20870
301-213-1234
al_espinoza@innotion.com

COOPER-CITIWEST
Janice Cooper
3961 Floyd Road, Suite 300-276 
Austell, GA 30406
678-469-9118
rgeahel@citiwesstinc.com

PHILADELPHIA – AM Contractor

BLB
Rod Gaston
16845 Von Karman Avenue
Irvine, CA 92606
949-261-9155
rgaston@reirvine.com

CITYSIDE / HHN
Sue Murtagh
186 Granite Street, Suite 301
Manchester, NH 03101
603-423-0313
smurtagh@citysidecorp.com

HOMETELOS
Robbi Dietrich
14651 Dallas Parkway, Suite 414 
Dallas, TX 75254
972-715-1524
rdietrich@hometelos.com

MATT MARTIN
Matt Martin
8521 Leesburg Pike, Suite 601 
Vienna, VA 22182
703-766-5777 x201
m.martin@mmrem.com

OFORI
Charles Ofori
1900 L Street, NW, Suite 609 
Washington, DC 20036
202-296-0566
cofori@oforicpa.com

CITYSIDE / HHN
Sue Murtagh
186 Granite Street, Suite 301
Manchester, NH 03101
603-423-0313
smurtagh@citysidecorp.com


Jennifer A. Loheac is a Shareholder with the firm of Becker &Poliakoff and a member of CAI National Government & Public Affairs and Amicus Committees, as well as a member of NJ’s Legislative Action Committee.