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Welcome to On the Commons!

Image On The Commons is a weekly radio show, dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding homeowner associations (HOAs) and condominiums.  It is broadcast live from WEBR, Fairfax, Virginia and available on this web site.

Join us as we explore the world of homeowner associations and condominiums, which are the fastest growing form of residential development in America today.  This housing concept includes homeowner associations, condominiums, cooperatives, and both attached and detached single-family homes.  Unfortunately this type of housing is not as utopian as its advocates would have us believe.  Living in a homeowner association means giving up a part of the American dream.  It means giving up Constitutional rights and control over one’s most valuable asset - one’s home.

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 "Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property, to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right."  --- Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B Sanders

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Its Here! 

The new On The Commons  podcast site

Seven years of easy to find On the Commons Podcasts 

 

The Curent Show

On the Commons with Jessica Suico

I have often wondered, and worried, about children growing up in HOAs who watch their parents suffer at the hands of the HOA bullies. What is the message we are giving them?  Will they be willing and able to fight to protect their homes and families when they are raising their children in these irrational and often abusive residential associations?  Or will they simply roll over and hope the horrors end, believing this is normal? "This is just the way it is" or "They are all like this", never realizing they can fight back and they can make life better for all concerned? 

Imagine my delight when I ran across an article penned by a college student and published in the college newspaper, The Advocate.  The article is titled;  Illegal evictions harm families, neighborhoods. “ 

I had to find out more about it.

Jessica Suico joins us On The Commons. Jessica is a second year student at Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California.  She is majoring in journalism and works on The Advocate, the college newsletter.  The paper normally reports on all things college related, new classes, upcoming events on campus and other news items or topics of interest that would affect student life. Jessica's article is a little out of the norm for her paper but, I believe, so very important.  She witnessed the harassment and subsequent eviction of her mother and aunt from their home. She also saw the frustration as her mother and aunt exhausted all venues seeking non-existing help for people in similar situations. They may have been able to get some help had they known where to look.  That has to be part of the education.  However, in the end, a couple of elderly ladies who have had health problems were evicted, ended up in the hospital and rendered homeless.  Using the college newspaper was an excellent way of, not only getting the story out, but also of education other young college students who will be facing similar problems unless we stop the bleeding in private residential America SOON. . . .Listen to Jessica Suico

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On he Commons with Ryan Torrens

Some people insist on referring to HOAs as communities.  If we describe people; who live in the same geographical area as a community; that might be accurate.  However, in a contrived situation like today's mass-produced residential associations, geography is about the only thing most of the owners have in common.  The hierarchical structure of a forced membership association does nothing whatsoever to foster a sense of community, rather it seems to cause isolationism and imposes fear in the residents.  In a very real sense their real governments and left to fend for themselves against all manner of abuses have abandoned the owners.  In some of the worst cases, homes are being stolen by those in the upper echelons of the HOA hierarchy and sold on the courthouse steps for pennies on the dollar.

Ryan Torrens joins us On The Commons.  Ryan is a young attorney in Tampa Florida who was introduced to the horrors of foreclosures right out of law school.  Shortly thereafter he started his own firm, The Torrens Law Group, where he specializes in protecting homeowners facing foreclosure from banks and homeowner associations.  We talk to Ryan about the situations that promote a climate that not only favors foreclosures but also in some respects makes them commonplace.  We get tips on what to do when a homeowner finds themselves in that situation, and probably more importantly, what not to do.  We also talk about key legislation that might go a long way in preventing some of the worst abuses.  . . . Listen to Ryan Torrens     

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