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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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Other On the Commons Web Sites: 

On the Commons Podcast Site

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The Current Show

On the Commons with Barry Silver
The dictionary has many definitions for the word "home" but to me home is that safe place we all go to recharge our batteries, be with those we love or enjoy the solitude those 4 walls provide.  It is a place that is uniquely our own.  Houses, apartments, hotel rooms and units can all look alike, but much like fingerprints and snowflakes no two homes are ever exactly alike.  In a world that seems to fear individuality and promotes uniformity, a home has even more importance than ever.

In our brave new world of cookie cutter dwelling units, crammed into modern day  kommunities ,  more often than not the heart and soul of what we once called a community is gone.  In addition to all looking alike and living alike we now also are expected to be alike.  
 
Joining us On The Commons this week is Barry Silver.  Barry, an attorney who practices in Florida, has spent his career fighting for the rights of individuals, including homeowners in HOAs. Currently Barry is working with several homeowners in a particular association where the owners are being evicted from their own homes.  These owners are paid up, they do not owe any money so it is not a case of "mooching off their neighbors" as proponents of this dysfunctional housing scheme would use as an acceptable reason for this barbaric behavior.  They are, however, elderly so they are vulnerable. Their alleged "crimes", and the reason they are being evicted are petty, absurd and ridiculous.  We'll talk to Barry about these homeowners, what they are being targeted for and where they are now.     Listen to Barry Silver    
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On the Commons with Gary Solomon
The horror stories  and tales of abuse in America's HOAs keep pouring in and there seems to be no end to the sheer gall and stupidity of some Homeowner association board members and managers. The alleged violations range from the ridiculous to the heartless to the absurd. 
 
Beyond the petty peeves of the small minded nits in the neighborhood, another emerging characteristic, or by product, of these 'hoods appears to be verging in the barbaric.  In a recent story out of Florida, an 80 year old gentleman was evicted by the HOA for planting vegetables in his small garden patch.  The stress of being alone and homeless sent him to the hospital with heart problems.  As if that wasn't bad enough, the neighbors actually cheered when they heard the news.  
 
What makes people in kontrolled kommunities react with glee at a neighbor's misfortune?  In the days before these new fangled "ghettos" became as common as muck, neighbors were friends and pitched in to help.  They had real communities.
 
Joining us On The Commons this week is Dr. Gary Solomon.  Dr Solomon, a psychologist in Nevada,  noticed that something was amiss in the shiny "community" he moved into.  While the grounds may have looked manicured, the residents did not appear to be particularly happy and he wondered why.  His research led him to write a couple of papers on HOAs, the HOA Syndrome and Elder Abuse.  And since then he has been cautioning us about the harmful affects HOAs have on our health.  We talk about the health issues and the potential for further abuses with new technology that could make America's kontrolled kommunities, or ghettos, as Dr. Solomon calls them,  even more stressful.     Listen to Gary Solomon   
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