In 1970, there were 10,000 homeowners associations. Today, there are 230,000 of them, collecting "around $34 billion in dues to manage billions of dollars in communal assets." Along with this growth has come a backlash from people who consider housing covenants and other hallmarks of homeowners associations an affront to their property rights and personal liberties. Other critics say that these associations, wielding many of the powers of local government, drive neighbors apart instead of bring them together. In one case, an elderly man in Nevada was fined for leaving his lawn half-mowed while seeking relief from the desert sun. But don't expect city and local government to usurp these associations of their powers: "city officials across the country compel builders to set them up in an effort to make new developments pay more of their own way."
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