Thieu Nguyen and Dr. Thomas J. Ellis

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

Proponents of communal living would have us all believe that the concept is positively Utopian.  What could possibly be better than pooling all your resources in order to live the life of the rich and famous?  Association living, they argue, provides you with a nice unit in a highly controlled environment.  What they neglect to mention is that by pooling all your resources you risk losing your home.  What they also conveniently omit is that YOU are the one who will be “highly controlled”.  The results of this living arrangement sometimes make the headlines, but not always.  That’s when the proponents of this housing scam trot out with words like “alleged abuses” and “isolated incidents”.  But what is life like when you are living the life of an “isolated incident” and are putting up with “alleged abuses”?  And what happens when you try to make this absurd living arrangement work for you?
 
On The Commons with Shu this week are Thieu Nguyen and Dr. Thomas J. Ellis.  Thieu, a 25 year old disabled Vietnamese immigrant is living the American nightmare.  He and his family are facing losing their HOA controlled unit to foreclosure.  As Thieu says, in Vietnam you lose your home at gun point but in Texas all it takes is a pen and a piece of paper.  Tommy. on the other hand, lives in a high-rise, also in Texas, where laughable best describes some of the rules adopted by the board of directors but there is nothing funny about having to live there.  Tommy is also at risk of losing his home.  Please join us On The Commons this Saturday, February 23, 2008.  We’ll find out what these two Texans have done to incur the wrath of the HOA Gods.

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Jan Bergmann

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.

From the very early days of mass producing homeowner associations, the only “solution” that has been offered to the many problems has been “education”.  “Homeowners need to be educated on how to live in their homes.”  “Board members need to be educated.”  “Managers should be educated.”  And so, to educate everyone, the Community Associations Institute was formed and for over 30 years CAI has been the only source of “education” in the country.  After 30 years of training, educating and credentialing everyone involved in the 40 year experiment, problems not only persist but have increased.  Is education the answer?  If so, is CAI the right organization to be doing all this educating or are their efforts an exercise in futility?
 
On The Commons with Shu this week is Jan Bergemann.  Jan is president of the Florida based Cyber Citizens for Justice CCFJ  www.ccfj.net and host of the most recent conference put on by homeowners for homeowners.  Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll talk about why CCFJ put on the conference, what was involved in setting it up, lessons learned and any feedback they received.  Find out what you should know if you are planning on hosting a similar event in your state.

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Florida Conference – Part 1

Hosted and produced by Shu Bartholomew, On The Commons is a weekly radio show dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding mandatory homeowner associations, the fastest growing form of residential housing in the nation.
 
There is no question that there is strength in numbers, but those numbers have to work in unison towards a common goal.  Over the years the industry that services the country’s ever increasing number of mandatory membership common ownership developments has been organized, and at least on the surface, has been marching to the beat of the same drummer.  The homeowners on the other hand, who far outnumber the industry members, have been, for the most part content to just let things be.  But times they are a changing and the homeowners are starting to take a more active role in the whole concept. 
 
California, New Jersey and now Florida have all hosted conferences.  These conferences were set up by the homeowners for the homeowners.  Will these conferences become annual events?  Will other states follow suit?
 
On The Commons with Shu this week are some of the presentations and comments from the homeowners at the latest homeowner conference organized and hosted by Cyber Citizens for Justice www.ccfj.net .  This clip was recorded on Friday evening at the opening session in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Please join us On The Commons.  There were other presentations which we will bring you in the coming weeks and months. 

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