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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 Evan McKenzie

They sounded like such great ideas, so what could possibly go wrong?  Instead of keeping residential America under the jurisdiction of local municipal governments, the trend was to put them in private enclaves where covenants ruled and where the notion of a contract was above the law.  Add a few frills where everyone shares in the expense of amenities and you have heaven on earth.  Right?  Now expand the utopian lifestyle to the renters by converting apartments into condos and establishing special financing to help them get their foot on the first rung of prosperity and we are on our way.  

As I write this, my mother's words come back to haunt me; "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true."

Professor Evan McKenzie joins us On The Commons this week.  Evan was on the first radio show I ever did and I am delighted to have him join us as we mark our 15th anniversary of On The Commons. 

Evan is a political science professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, he teaches law at the John Marshall School of Law, he is the author of Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government and  Beyond Privatopia: Rethinking Residential Private Government.  He maintains a blog at The Privatopia Papers where he discusses and follows the news and trends on associations.  He is just back from a conference in Israel on private communities  where he presented a paper titled: "Rethinking Residential Private Government in the United States: Recent Trends in practices and Policy".  Join  us as Evan shares some of the problems and issues other countries are facing with their experiences in private communities, and how at least one country, Spain, deals with the "apathy" problem.  Listen to Evan McKenzie    

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On the Commons with Tom Deweese

American homeowners once enjoyed complete sovereignty over property they owned.  Home truly was their castle where they raised their families, entertained friends, hosted get togethers and surrounded themselves with the things that meant something to them.  Sadly that way of life gradually evaporated.  Over the last three or four decades that right of ownership has eroded, leaving homeowners confused, shocked, upset and often in unimaginable trouble.  Inordinate amounts of money are spent on the most legal ridiculous legal battles with neighbors and local governments.

How did that happen?  How did a simple and sane concept devolve into the battlefields that were once our residential neighborhoods?  What happened to our "communities" where neighbors not only knew your name but were ready and willing to  help.  

Tom DeWeese joins us On The Commons this week.  Tom is one of the nation's leading advocates on private property rights. He is the founder and president of The American Policy Center headquartered in Warrenton, Virginia.  Tom is a prolific writer, and speaker, he is energetic, outspoken and passionate about educating citizens, politicians and organizations about the many threats to our personal freedoms and our property rights.  He warns us that special interests are all too proficient at convincing politicians to enact harmful legislation and to adopt policies designed to alter the way we live.  With upcoming elections, candidates will be appearing and speaking at a number of public events.  He has devised 3 questions to ask political hopefuls about the environment, education and eminent domain. Tom demonstrates how all these issues are part of the bigger picture, including residential associations.    Listen to Tom DeWeese

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