The Reading List
A great deal of the information you will find on this website has been compiled from the publications listed below. Most of these books can be found in your local library, and all can be found at any of the big book outlets.
Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the rise of Residential Private Governments
By Evan McKenzie
Yale University Press Excerpts from PrivatopiaBook Review: Dr. McKenzie was one of the first to see the dangers of the new trend of private contractual pseudo-government in common-interest developments (a/k/a mandatory homeowners associations) and his treatment remains one of the most thoughtful available. Especially useful is his history of the development of the industry’s powerhouse trade organization, the Community Associations Institute. CAI started long ago as a balanced entity serving the interests of homeowners as well as others, it has turned into a lobbying arm for professionals who make their livings off of mandatory assessments and the associated legal machinery of collection and foreclosure. Touted as a selling point to potential buyers by realtors and builders, CIDs exist--as McKenzie cogently points out--primarily as a means for developers to mitigate the rising cost of property by squeezing more dwellings on to less land and bypassing local zoning restrictions and ordinances. The author explains, the real motivation for keeping property values high is so that the lenders courted by the developers will be confident that their investment is secure the homeowners interests are irrelevant. The author not only examines the resultant effect upon the individual homeowner, but the long-term sociological and political ramifications as well. "Privatopia" contains some of the horror stories experienced within the CID scenario. Some issues causing disputes are so trivial as to be laughable, except for the severe penalties incurred by violators, including huge fines and legal fees, or even loss of ones home in certain situations. This book should be required reading for anyone currently living in or considering the purchase of a home located within a CID, and will be a real eye-opener to many.
Dr. McKenzie holds a law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Southern California. He is currently an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an adjunct instructor of law at the John Marshall Law School. His research specializations are in the area of law and public policy, and particularly urban policy.
Be Reasonable: How Community Associations Can Enforce Rules Without Antagonizing Residents, Going To Court, Or Starting World War III
By Kenneth Budd
Community Associations Institute
Guilt By Association: A Survival Guide For Homeowners, Board Members, And Property Managers
By Jordan L. Shifrin
Writers Club Press
Working With Your Homeowners Association: A Guide to Effective Community Living
Dr. Marlene M. Coleman & Judge William Huss
The Case Against State Protection of Homeowner Associations
By George K. Staropoli
Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States
By Edward J. Blakely and Mary Gail Snyder
The Brookings Institute Press
Behind the Gates: Life, Security, and the Pursuit of Happiness in Fortress America
By Setha Low
Book Review: Behind the Gates is Low's revealing account of what life is like inside these suburban fortresses. After years researching and interviewing families in Long Island, New York and San Antonio, Texas, Low provides an inside view of gated communities to help explain why people flee to these enclaves. Parents with children, young married couples, "empty-nesters," and retirees express their need for safety, their secret fears of a more ethnically diverse America, and their desire to recapture the close-knit, picket-fenced communities of their childhood. Ironically, she shows, gated neighborhoods are in fact no safer than other suburbs, and many who move there are disheartened by the insularity and restrictive rules of the community. Low probes the hopes, dreams, and fears of her subjects to portray the subtle change in American middle-class values marked by the emergence of enclosed communities in the suburbs.
Setha Low is Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author or editor of numerous books, including Theorizing the City: The New Urban Anthropology Reader; Housing, Culture, and Design; Cultural Spaces; and Place Attachment.
Morning Glories: Municipal Reform in the Southwest
By Amy Bridges
Princeton University Press
Communications for Community Associations
By Janice Phagan
The Community Associations Institute
Common Interest Communities: Private Governments and the Public Interest
Stephen E. Barton & Carol J. Silverman
Institute of Government Studies Press, University of California, Berkeley
Villa Appalling: Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living
Donie Vanitzian & Stephen Glassman
Villa Appalling Publishing
Homeowner Associations: A Nightmare or a Dream Come True?
Cassie Publications Inc.
The Geography of Nowhere
James Howard Kunstler
Simon & Schuster