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Homeowners Fees Price Out Ashland Couple, Spur Program Changes

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The housing crunch across the West Coast has cities taking a closer look at their affordable housing programs or forming new ones. But the city of Ashland in Southern Oregon is considering changes to its decades-old program because of one condominium charging exorbitant management fees.

Ashland’s affordable housing program requires certain housing tracts to offer some affordable units. That helped one retired couple get into the Turrell Terrace Luxury condos in Ashland.

But then the condominium doubled its homeowners association fees to $500 a month, nearly twice the national average. HOA fees go to shared spaces, like landscaping or sidewalks, and all homeowners in that given tract have to pay them.

The fee ended up pricing out the couple, who wouldn’t comment for this story but did write a letter to Ashland City Council.

There aren’t state or federal rules that regulate how much HOAs can charge. The city of Ashland is considering changing its affordable housing program to take rising HOA fees into consideration. That could include broadening the definition of “low-income” so it includes people who can actually afford the mortgage and the fees.

The Turrell Terrace Condominiums HOA is managed by Efficient HOA, which is also a property management company. The company didn't return a request for comment.