Evan Mckenzie

They sounded like such great ideas, so what could possibly go wrong?  Instead of keeping residential America under the jurisdiction of local municipal governments, the trend was to put them in private enclaves where covenants ruled and where the notion of a contract was above the law.  Add a few frills where everyone shares in the expense of amenities and you have heaven on earth.  Right?  Now expand the utopian lifestyle to the renters by converting apartments into condos and establishing special financing to help them get their foot on the first rung of prosperity and we are on our way.  

As I write this, my mother’s words come back to haunt me; “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.”

Professor Evan McKenzie joins us On The Commons this week.  Evan was on the first radio show I ever did and I am delighted to have him join us as we mark our 15th anniversary of On The Commons. 

Evan is a political science professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, he teaches law at the John Marshall School of Law, he is the author of Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government and  Beyond Privatopia: Rethinking Residential Private Government.  He maintains a blog at The Privatopia Papers where he discusses and follows the news and trends on associations.  He is just back from a conference in Israel on private communities  where he presented a paper titled: “Rethinking Residential Private Government in the United States: Recent Trends in practices and Policy”.  Join  us as Evan shares some of the problems and issues other countries are facing with their experiences in private communities, and how at least one country, Spain, deals with the “apathy” problem.  


One thought on “Evan Mckenzie”

  1. I agree 100% with what Evan was saying. He has certainly been one of the pioneers in sorting out the HOA problems. He defines why they do not work. He identifies who is least capable of affording to live in one and defending themselves against one. And he recognizes that every HOA is one election away from becoming an total nightmare.

    I wish every city planner, HOA board member, potential buyer into an HOA, and every college student would listen to this interview.

    I agree the millennials are buried in college loans and are not inclined to make a housing purchase. In talking with many people in this age group that have also been exposed to the nightmares of an HOA by living in one with their parents or grandparents and want no part of the insanity. Or, they do not want to be tied down with ownership. They want to rent an apartment and be able to move at will without the stress of having to maintain or sell their housing in order to move.

    I also agree that buyers need far more information before signing a contract about the HOA. Although, from my personal experience I know that the HOA BOD will lie through their teeth while looking you straight in the eyes about the financial stability of the HOA. Not to mention HOAs are a business and many board members haven’t got a clue how to run a business!

    Thank you for having Evan as a guest, Shu. I hope future shows will bring him back with more of his valuable information.

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