HEAR4NC poised to promote HOA/POA reform in Raleigh

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

SUPPLY — A nonprofit group pushing for homeowners and property owners association reform is getting ready to rally and lobby in Raleigh.

Members of Homeowners for Education Advocacy & Rights (HEAR4NC) got an update from founder Ole Madsen at a monthly meeting held in a conference room Monday night, April 21, at Brunswick Electric Membership Corp.

Madsen outlined plans for a May 20 rally at the state legislature for House Bills 871 and 883.

House Bill 871 gives the North Carolina Real Estate Commission authority to administer and license community property managers.

House Bill 883 requires an HOA or POA executive board to take four hours of education on North Carolina General Statute 47F governing the boards “or matters the NCREC deems necessary.”

Madsen, who spoke at a similar meeting Monday morning in Wilmington, noted it will be their last meeting before members travel to Raleigh.

Madsen, speaking Monday night to a small group of concerned people who live in Brunswick County communities governed by HOA or POA boards, urged as many people as possible to attend the Raleigh rally.

He said HEAR4NC members are registered as lobbyists.

“We are recognized,” he said. “We went through the ethical test, and we qualified.”

Madsen reiterated their goal is to see the two bills approved by the legislature.

“Most people are trying to stop bills,” he said. “We’re trying to get ‘em started.”

He described political support at the legislative level as a “50-50 mix” of sponsorship.

“I’ve been to Raleigh every month at least two to three days,” Madsen said. “It’s close.”

As legislators convene for their annual short session May 14, Madsen said “You’ve got to catch ‘em” or their committees.

Madsen cited as an example state Sen. Bill Rabon of Southport, who co-chairs the senate finance committee.

“I believe in talking to people,” said Madsen, referring to a state house finance committee member, Rep. Bill Brawley of Mecklenburg County, as another resource.

But all of the representatives are important “because you need every vote,” he said.

Madsen also cited a new legislative property rights committee, which he describes as “very conservative about people’s rights. They’ve shown an interest in our bills.”

HEAR4NC membership chair Gail Hewitt said, “We’re looking for (legislators’) support. They already understand a lot of the flak with a lot of the (HOA-POA) communities. They’ll understand what the problems are.”

On “lobby day” May 20, Madsen and his cohorts will be meeting with three legislators in separate meetings that morning.

“I’m sure we will meet with Rabon and (state Rep. Frank) Iler,” he added, referring to Brunswick County’s two representatives. “We’ll be moving around. Wear your walking shoes.”

He added they won’t be there to make trouble, but rather to meet people and learn how the legislative process works.

“It’s important to show up,” Madsen said. “It’s good (legislators) know you’re there.”

He urged members to refer to the state General Assembly website, www.ncleg.net, to get information about representatives.

If the bills don’t pass in the short session, Madsen said they’re already getting set to re-introduce them next year.

For more information about HEAR and its efforts, email Madsen at hear4nc@gmail.com or call (336) 210-5959. The website is www.hear4nc.org


Laura Lewis is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.