Evan McKenzie

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. 
 
Almost four decades ago residential America began to change.  No longer were Americans living in their own castles but instead, at the end of the day, found themselves going home to neighborhoods where the neighbors made all the decisions.  This brave new blueprint for our communities was to deliver lifestyles beyond the reaches and wildest dreams of most Americans.  Homeowners in these newfangled developments would have access to sparkling pools, tennis courts, hiking trails, golf courses, bridle paths, ponds, lakes and yes, even gazebos.  The cost?  A few dollars a month.  But wait, there is more.  In addition, these new experimental developments promised to not only protect property values but enhance them as well.  And the cost?  A few dollars a month ……. and complete control of that property. 
 
Has this new experiment delivered everything it promised?  Are American homeowners happier and better off today than they were before HOAs became the norm rather than the exception??
 
On The Commons this week we welcome back Professor Evan McKenzie.  Evan is the author of the best selling book Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government.  He teaches Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Common Interest Community Law at the John Marshall School of Law.  Evan is also a practicing attorney and maintains an active blog at http://privatopia.blogspot.com/ .   Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll skip all the usual pudgy pooch, dusty mailbox horror stories that seem to grab the headlines and go right to the heart of what is happening in today’s climate of economic uncertainty.  Are condo and homeowner associations surviving and just how secure are America’s 60 million HOA owners?  As a keen observer of associations, politics and current events, Evan puts HOAs right in the middle of the big picture.  You won’t want to miss this one. 

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Houston Conference – Part 3

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 beginning, homeowners associations have had problems – and the unfettered power their boards and managers have been given have cause untold problems for the homeowners. The first “solution” was to “educate all involved” but over the past three decades that education has only exacerbated the problems. Then it was thought that “disclosure” would serve to warn consumers about what they were getting before they bought that controlled unit they had their eyes on, but that turned out to be nothing more than a lot of hot air and in fact put the owners in a more precarious position than they had been before they were warned. When the legislature got involved, they only mucked things up even more which gave the judicial system the perfect dodge – the “business judgment” rule, leaving the owners a lot poorer and in worse shape than they had been in before they went to the court house. So what is left? Where can homeowners turn for help in protecting their property rights and their greatest asset?

On The Commons this week we check back in with the folks in Houston In October the homeowners from all corners of Texas gathered for an intense session on identifying the problems in homeowners associations and prioritizing the ones they wanted to concentrate on first. In this broadcast you will hear Bill Davis talk about some of the issues he and his neighbors have been dealing with. We’ll also hear from Gwen Gates explaining 990’s and Shu talking about The 3 P’s. Please join us On The Commons We’ll listen in on three more “speeches” given at the conference in Houston.

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Houston Conference Part 2

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 beginning, homeowners associations have had problems – and the unfettered power their boards and managers have been given have cause untold problems for the homeowners.  The first “solution” was to “educate all involved” but over the past three decades that education has only exacerbated the problems.  Then it was thought that “disclosure” would serve to warn consumers about what they were getting before they bought that controlled unit they had their eyes on, but that turned out to be nothing more than a lot of hot air and in fact put the owners in a more precarious position than they had been before they were warned.  When the legislature got involved, they only mucked things up even more which gave the judicial system the perfect dodge – the “business judgment” rule, leaving the owners a lot poorer and in worse shape than they had been in before they went to the court house.  So what is left?  Where can homeowners turn for help in protecting their property rights and their greatest asset?
 
On The Commons this week we check back in with the folks in Houston  In October the homeowners from all corners of Texas gathered for an intense session on identifying the problems in homeowners associations and prioritizing the ones they wanted to concentrate on first.  In this broadcast you will hear David Kahne go through more of the list of over 20 problems, talk about them and explain the options they had.  You will also hear Bob Adolph, a member of the Adolph family who have spent countless hours tracking the foreclosure filings by homeowners associations in Harris County and posting the information on their web page, www.hoadata.org .  Please join us On The Commons.  We’ll listen in as the homeowners share  their problems and talk about possible solutions.  We’ll also get an update on the foreclosure activity for the last several years and find out just who has been filing all these foreclosures.

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