Julio Robaina

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.

Mandatory membership residential associations have been plagued with major problems right from the very beginning.  Initially, the “solution” to the problems was to educate all concerned but after several decades of instructing everyone it became abundantly clear that “education” was not the answer.  Frustrated, homeowners turned to their legislators looking for relief from the horrors that had become part of their daily lives.  However, many of those lawmakers had no idea how to tame the monster they created so they turned to the very people they allegedly intended to regulate for help in writing the bills.

Today most, if not all, state legislative bodies go through the routine of tweaking and rewriting state statutes regulating HOAs and condos.  Despite this annual rite, the problems in residential America  persist and multiply.  And still, some of these legislators turn to the same people year after year, heeding their advice. 

But not all legislators remain in the fog that has enveloped them since the beginning of this saga.  And one legislator stands out. On The Commons this week we are joined by Representative Julio Robaina. In a complete departure from the “business as usual” way of dealing with the ongoing problems, Florida Representative Robaina traveled the length and breadth of his state to talk to the people who live in associations.  He did this not once, but twice.  Armed with first hand knowledge of the real problems, with a deep understanding of the frustrations and inequities that existed, he returned to Tallahassee to write legislation inspired by the owners and designed to protect private property from the horrors and abuses of a system gone amok.  The result is a massive rewrite of the Florida Condo Act.   Please join us On The Commons this Saturday, July 12, 2008.  We’ll talk about the hearings and the new Condo Act.  Some of the provisions, and the need for them, were even a surprise to me.  You’ll understand why I call him the Energizer Bunny and why I believe he is the model legislator. Read the changes here: 

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