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. Living in America keeps getting more expensive and more complicated. No longer is it enough to simply pay for routine maintenance on your home once the builders, roofers, plumbers, tilers, landscapers, carpenters and other trades get through building your house. There was a time when routine upkeep and utilities provided Americans with a comfortable and happy environment in which to live and raise a family. Now the trades are still knocking at the door wanting to get paid for managing, suing, inspecting and organizing you. Over time these trade organizations have taken over homes and lives. How did they get so powerful and how did they get away with controlling so much? Is it time for the owners to take back their homes and neighborhoods? On The Commons this week we are joined by Tom Besore. Tom is a Chicago attorney and a planner who believes strongly in working at the grass roots level to keep his neighborhood and community a nice place to live. He is on the board of a local organization called Streeterville Organization of Active Residents, SOAR. www.soarchicago.org . While SOAR has been around for awhile, and has grown over the years, Tom is starting a new organization, bringing together the condos in his Streeterville neighborhood and beyond get the owners more involved. While the Condo Affairs Council is still in its infancy, the promise of what it could do is exciting. Please join us On The Commons. We’ll learn a little about SOAR and hear more about the Chicago Condo Affairs Council.
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. As more and more housing projects are swallowed up and controlled by the insatiable monsters known collectively as community associations, whether they are HOAs, condos, coops or some other form of mandatory membership association, the “isolated incidents” don’t seem quite so isolated any more. It is common knowledge that because of these associations American homeowners have lost property rights and significant sovereignty over their own homes and lives. Although far greater in sheer number, the owners appear to lose more ground every year. But does it have to be that way? While the balance of power is shifted away from the individual, is there a window of opportunity to tame the monster and return to living in communities instead of projects? On The Commons this week we are joined by Professor Evan McKenzie. Professor McKenzie is the author of Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government. He teaches Political Science at the University of Illinois in Chicago, and HOA law at the John Marshall School of Law. He is a practicing attorney, owns and maintains an active and lively blog on HOAs and other topics of interest at http://privatopia.blogspot.com , a single dad of active teenagers and someone who always finds time to join us On The Commons. Please join us On The Commons this Saturday, July 11, 2009. We’ll talk about licensing laws for HOA managers that seem to be creeping across the country and we’ll also discuss “windows of opportunity” and find out if there will be a sequel to Privatopia. As always, you won’t want to miss it.