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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 John Cowherd

As I watched homeowners lose more control and sovereignty over their own property, privacy and lives I was convinced that there had to be a breaking point.  At some point they would all, not only resist this intrusion but push back and push back hard.  They had to!  Or did they?  As the battle between owner and special interests intensified, bullying and misinformation became the norm giving rise to chaos and being outnumbered and out maneuvered, owners for the most part retreated.  A few owners across the country did decide to armor up and fight back.  But is it enough and are they fighting the right battles?  do they know what they are doing?

John Cowherd joins us On The Commons.  John, a Virginia real estate attorney, an advocate for homeowners , a blogger and a frequent guest on the show has been following the various advocacies across the country as they build groups, recruit members, come up with strategies and start lobbying for improved laws protecting the rights of the owners.  Are they making any progress?  Are they on the right track?  Do they know what they are doing?  We'll talk about the state of affairs in America's millions of association controlled developments and what needs to be done to "empower the people".  It is THEIR homes and THEIR lives that are dangling on the end of strings controlled by puppeteers with a very different agenda.     Listen to John Cowherd     

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On the Commons with Ileana Johnson

Words have meanings and the word community generally imparts a sense of belonging.  People in a community tend to have something in common.  They come from similar backgrounds, are generally in the same socioeconomic group, perhaps share hobbies and  interests.  They have something that binds them together.  In the good old days, before "communities" were designed and force-fed on Americans, the sense of community evolved naturally.  Neighbors were friends who helped and looked out for each other.  They took in a child who might have inadvertently been locked out, picked up packages for neighbors or retrieved a trash can that was blown down the street by the wind.  In this brave new world of controlled living, the sense of community is no longer communal but rather a gathering of people who delight is spying on their neighbors.  Now a child who is locked out might get rescued by the police, mail is left out and the association is called to report a stray trash can.   

Ileana Johnson joins us On The Commons this week.  Ileana is an American by choice and a Romanian by birth.  She is a freelance journalist, an author, a speaker and a radio commentator.  She also maintains a blog.  Ileana and her husband currently live in a Homeowner Association in Virginia where inspections are conducted regularly to ensure that no blade of grass exceeds the allowable length and that all things visible on the property conform to some rather vague standard.  Creativity and individuality are highly frowned upon.  Ileana tells us about life in her 300 square foot apartment in Communist Romania and draws some parallels between Communist Romania and HOAs, American Style.  Sometimes it is hard to find much difference. . . . Listen to Ileana Johnson     

 

 

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