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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 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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On the Commons with Gary Solomon

Most people aspire to have a nice home, one they are proud of as it reflects their personality and attests to their hard work and success in life.  A place they can be comfortable and surround themselves with the people and things they love.  But, the reality is that the most valuable thing we have is our health.  Without it, little else matters.  Without it you may not be able to take care of your property, or enjoy having the people you love around you.  Yet our homes today are built and forced into toxic environments - controlled mandatory, and often involuntary, membership residential associations.  

Dr. Gary Solomon joins us On The Commons.  Dr. Solomon is a retired professor who became aware of the ugly side of homeowner associations when he realized his neighbors were living in fear.  After a little digging he discovered that life really wasn't rosy and all happy in these pristine environments, where the color and shape of the grass was more important than the health and happiness of the people living there.  With his many degrees and his background in psychology, he started studying the effects of living in an HOA.  One of the most alarming and damaging consequences created by associations, is the level of stress they create and the very damaging effects on our health. He has since written extensively on what goes on in residential America today.  His most innovative and creative work is an e-book called HOA:Crisis in America.  The book is free and you the option of reading it, watching the videos or just listening to it.   But before he wrote his book, he wrote a couple of papers about HOAs, HOA Syndrome  and Elder Abuse.  We talk to Dr. Solomon about the health of HOAs and especially the health of the residents in HOAs. . . .Listen to Gary Solomon     

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