WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA) – The Ashton Oaks homeowners association is proposing a 33% increase in fees for residents living in villas in Wesley Chapel.
“It’s been really frustrating,” said 14-year Ashton Oaks resident Suzy Cardner.
The increase is something Cardner worries will devastate her senior neighbors on fixed incomes who can’t afford to move anywhere else.
“There’s a lot of people having hard time now,” she said. “We should feel safe at our own house no matter what.”
For seniors on a fixed income like Silvana Momani, she said she will either have to cut down on food or medicine, both things she cannot live without.
“I can’t sell my house because I can’t afford the HOA, because I can’t move into another apartment I can’t afford at all,” she said.
HOA President Ron Huffman claims the increase in costs is primarily due to a shortage in their roofing replacement fund that has been underfunded for 15 years.
“The money has to come from the people who are seeing the benefit,” he said.
His advice for his neighbors who can’t afford the $120 monthly increase?
Adjust your lifestyle.
“We’re a not for profit association and I think a lot of people don’t understand there’s no pot of money. There’s no magic,” he said.
Residents don’t disagree that the roof replacement fund is underfunded, but hope for more flexibility in replenishing it.
“Go up increments in the next few years and not $120 all at one time,” Cardner said.
At the end of the day, she said there’s a lot of life left in the roofs.