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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 Greg Chumbley
Words have power and meaning and by using the correct words, one can further define the sense one is trying to convey.  Advocates for HOAs like to call them "Community Associations", implying a kinder, gentler development.  The dictionary defines "community", in part as, "a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals".  However, many of the unfortunate people who find themselves in one of these mandatory membership compounds often refer to them as war zones, oligopolies, kontrolled kommunes and a number of other less flattering names, implying that all is not harmonious and pleasant.  In a real community, people get-together to work out any common issues without having to resort to kangaroo courts, fines and a trip to the court house.

Greg Chumbley joins us On The Commons this week.  Greg is a homeowner in Naples, Florida who decided to exercise his right to know what he was paying for and where his HOA dues were going.  And like many homeowners found himself researching the Florida statutes to discover what rights he had.  To him it made perfectly good sense that if he was being forced to pay for it, he had a right to know what he was paying for.  Along the way he ran into the usual, entrenched board members, the silent management company employees and that brick wall we keep hearing about.  That didn't stop Greg.  After exhausting all avenues of trying to get the information he was entitled to in Village Walk, his Kontrolled Kommune, he decided to go to court.  He is sharing what he learned in the process on his web page http://www.sueyourhoacheaply.us so that others in his "community" of people with who share his attitudes, interests and goals can also find out what they are paying for. Please join us to hear Greg's story.       Listen to Greg Chumbley    
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On the Commons with Gary Solomon

Over the years much has been written about kontrolled housing in America.  There have been scholarly books, legal books and Law Review articles, regular newspaper and magazine articles, blog posts, websites dedicated to exploring HOAs, personal accounts of life in an HOA, satire, lots and lots of horror stories,  There have even been “how to” live in an HOA, articles trying to convince you that “you agreed” to the rules and abuses and if you don’t like it, move. There have even been books and rosy accounts of all the joys of HOA living but never has there ever been a book quite like HOA: Crisis in America.  

Quite apart from the fact that the book is the most creative, innovative and fun way to read, watch and hear a book, it is the first time that anyone has ever brought science into the HOA discussion.  And there is one more unique thing about HOA: Crisis in America, it is FREE.  I am very excited about the book and so greatly honored that Dr. Gary Solomon is launching his book through On The Commons.  This book takes the discussion and the research to a whole new level.  It gives us all the tools to get beyond the legal twists and turns, the emotional discussion, the misrepresentations of what HOAS are and are not, the fear associated with this form of housing and leaves us having to ask – and answer – the question of whether this is a viable form of housing and whether or not it can be reformed and made into a kinder gentler monster.

Dr. Gary Solomon joins us On The Commons this week to introduce his new book, HOA: Crisis in America.  Dr. Solomon is a Psychologist, a retired professor of psychology in Nevada who noticed something a little strange in his new development and when neighbors asked him if he was having problems with the HOA, he put two and two together and started studying the effects of HOAs on humans.  What he discovered was quite alarming which led to two papers, The HOA Syndrome and Elder Abuse.  He studied the psychology behind giving people unfettered power and described the type of personality that gravitates to these positions.  The most exciting part of this book is the science behind the physical affects on the residents in HOAs.  The physiological changes to our bodies is explained in very clear, easy to understand language that even our legislators should be able to grasp. Please send it to them and ask them to watch, read and listen to the book. Dr. Solomon’s gift to you can be accessed at http://hoacrisisinamerica.com.    

Listen to Gary Solomon    
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