Response to “ARC misrepresented in article,” by Karen Kretschman (AFN, Oct. 13).

To the question, “Must a resident of a 55 or older housing community facility join the homeowners association?” Karen states the “Fair Housing Act does not require this. HOPA (Housing for Older Persons Act) does not require this.” She could have added that ARC (Ahwatukee Recreation Center) Manager Dan O’Brien made the following statement: “HOPA requirement that HOAs ‘provide a recreation facility’ is no longer valid as of 1999.” Further in my lawsuit ARC attorney made the following written statements to the judge: “The Act made the provision of such ARC services and facilities permissive, not mandatory.” As to all of the above I also agree, that membership in ARC is permissive, not mandatory.

The problem is that the ARC declaration does not agree with us. It states: “ARC is desirous of recording this declaration and causing existing covenants to be amended to comply with said act...” ARC bylaws state: “It is the expressed intent of ARC’s significant facilities and services to operate such…consistent with the act. It is further the express intent of ARC to enforce the declaration and to take all steps necessary and appropriate to comply with all provisions of the act.”

Further, ARC has placed a lien against all lots forcing owners to be members of ARC or lose their homes.

As I see it, the bottom line is that all lot owners are held by the ARC bylaws and declaration in bondage as slaves to serve and finance a recreation facility.

I’m fighting for my right to live in any housing for older persons and not have to be a slave to do it. I am not going to pay anymore assessments to ARC and invite them to try and foreclose my home without a fight. It is my opinion that the ARC declaration and bylaws are concealing a HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) amendment that eliminated ARC, therefore, it no longer has any lien force against my home. ARC is collecting assessments for a recreation facility, not an HOA.

When it begins to assess for an HOA (Homeowners Association), I will pay my assessments. I dismissed my lawsuit because, as stated by Karen Kretschman, Dan O’Brien, and ARC’s attorneys, membership in a recreation center is permissive, not mandatory, there just wasn’t anything more to argue about wasting more time and expense in court.

Because there has been so many members suffering hardship, contacting me, I am considering hiring an attorney for a class action lawsuit, unless I can get the ARC Board to meet and discuss eliminating mandatory membership to the recreation center.

Rayburn Coawette

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