For decades, condominiums have represented an affordable option for homeownership for America's working class. However, according to the Washington Post, an ongoing financial crisis is currently putting condo ownership across the United States at risk. While developments thrive in trendy neighborhoods, other communities are in a state of turmoil. Foreclosures, and a spate of related lawsuits, are on the rise.
How Widespread Are Condominium Foreclosures?
The trend of condominium foreclosures, particularly among the working class, began with the Great Recession, which began in 2008 and has never truly ended. During the economic downturn, condominiums from California to New York were hurt. Disputes and foreclosures skyrocketed, and have scarcely tapered off.
Right now, a few states are experiencing a condo boom - Florida among them. Yet many worry that the growth is not sustainable, and will lead only to more problems. In our state, more and more condo owners have found it difficult to pay their bills. One in every 808 housing units has received a foreclosure filing, which is nearly double the national average. As such, it seems that any housing boom may result in a boom of empty buildings.
Even condo owners who can pay their mortgage still find themselves entangled in complications. Across the state, aging infrastructure has caused homeowners associations (HOAs) to increase the monthly fees, and many cannot keep up with upkeep. This has led to countless legal disputes between individuals and their HOAs, which require a great deal of time - and still more money - to resolve.
What Is Being Done?
Public officials and lawmakers have begun to address the issue. There are options for financial relief, and means to stay foreclosure proceedings. Some communities require condo board members to complete an online course about administrative and financial responsibilities.
Yet in Florida the condos continue to go up, and it seems the legal problems will follow suit.