Senate committee approves new voting methods for HOAs

HARRISBURG – The Senate took a step to provide residents of homeowner’s associations (HOAs) with new ways to participate in meetings that establish rules and fees for residents, according to Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee Chairman David G. Argall (R-29).

Senate Bill 1302, sponsored by Senator Mike Folmer (R-48), is an effort to make homeowner’s associations more transparent and accessible to their members.

“Homeowner Association agreements require a balance between individual liberty and community harmony, which I believe would be improved through increased transparency for all parties,” Folmer said.

Folmer’s proposal, which was unanimously approved by the committee, will update a law from 1996 to provide for electronic voting methods, absentee ballots, and other methods in an effort to increase participation of association members. HOAs are currently required to have a quorum of 20 percent of members. Argall and other members of the committee believe more input in the process is a good thing for HOA members.

“These HOAs function as micro-governments,” Argall said. “I think it’s imperative we provide every tool available to residents of these HOAs so they can participate in a democratic process to determine their fees, adopt budgets and establish rules and guidelines. I applaud Senator Folmer and his efforts to advance this cause and for bringing it to the committee’s attention.”

“I thank Senators Argall and Brewster, as well as the whole Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee for advancing this important legislation,” Folmer said.