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Old Dominion University's Center for Real Estate and Economic Development recently received a $104,697 grant to conduct a study on issues associated with homeowners and the associations, or Common Interest Communities (CIC), that govern them.

"We will be looking into common issues that come up between condominium owners, planned-unit development associations and others that act as shadow governments dictating everything from the size of your fence to color of your front door," said John Lombard, director of the center.

The grant comes from the commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) real estate board. DPOR regulates 31 occupations and professions through 18 boards of practitioners appointed by the Governor. The real estate board regulates businesses and individuals representing others in real property transactions.

Lombard and Pam Gibson, assistant professor in ODU's Graduate Center of Urban Studies and Public Administration, authored the grant. Over the next year they will research organizational and operational issues by conducting surveys and focus groups of the CIC community in Hampton Roads and western Virginia. "Very little is known about this form of shadow governance and this work will contribute greatly to our understanding," said Lombard.

The center will develop a Web site based on survey results featuring statewide listings of residential condominium, cooperative and property owners' associations; links to local, state and regional resources by topic; and CIC organization Web addresses. The center's long-term goal is to establish a series of workshops with constituent groups to discuss common issues.

This article was posted on: March 31, 2003

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