CINCINNATI — Some Avondale homeowners are speaking out against the president of their board for the Harvey Point Homeowners Association. They said their association management has been negligent of their properties and preying on vulnerable people with fines.
“Right now, we’re asking for the current president to step down or to provide some legal paperwork,” Harvey Point resident Sandra Jones Mitchell said. She also said people in the townhomes on Glenwood Avenue are being treated like tenants instead of getting the respect as homeowners they deserve.
Harvey Point residents said they pay condo fees each month so that their properties can be maintained and cared for by the homeowners board. However, they said board president Gary Favors hasn’t been fulfilling his responsibilities in following up on their homes’ maintenance needs. Residents said they’ve long needed things like new roofs, driveways, and cleaning despite paying $200 a month for upkeep.
“I don’t have a problem with the condo fees going up. I just want to know what are they going to do with them,” said Kathleen Gordon. “Are they going to be doing the things that I’ve been paying out of pocket for?”
There is also concern for those who can’t keep up with the increases. Residents complained that monthly condo fees were only $125 months ago—an abrupt, $75 increase from last year. Plus, they complained about an uptick in unfair fines over things like trash and parking.
“We’re just regular people. There are a lot of seniors down there that I’m more concerned about that cannot pay that extra $200 a month,” Mitchell said.
“They’re picking and choosing what part of the bylaws to use and that’s just not right.”
Board President Gary Favors issued a statement saying:
“The Board of Directors for the Harvey Point Homeowners Association is maintaining the property consistent with its obligation. In doing so, it is not 'pushing aside' concerns for its owners, and certainly not 'in favor' of other owners. While it appreciates that not all owners will agree with all of the decisions made by the Board, these decisions are made for the betterment of the community and to uphold the restrictions governing the Association.”
Towne Properties, the association management tasked with the homes’ upkeep through taking the board’s direction, also weighed in. Chris Bortz, the company’s corporate counsel, explained that their ability to act in the situation and make home improvements are limited because of their agreement with the homeowners' association. Bortz explained Towne Properties can only follow orders to conduct maintenance or make improvements that are directly from the association, and can’t act independently.
“The homeowners’ complaints are all, I’m sure, valid. But they have to go through the board. So they can’t come to us and say, well we need ‘this’ or ‘this.’ We’re not permitted to do it. That would be a violation of our contract and of state law.”
Residents plan to hold a special meeting to discuss their grievances over their townhomes at the Avondale Business Center on Reading Road on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Monique John covers gentrification for WCPO 9. She is part of our Report For America donor-supported journalism program. Read more about RFA here.
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