“Home” – the word conjures up many images. To some it is a spacious mansion, filled with friends and family, and to others it is a cozy peaceful little nook where the owners are safe and warm. Some of these abodes are in the country, surrounded by fields, streams and mountains while others are in cities. Some high up in the sky with amazing views and others closer to terra firma. Regardless of size, where or what the image of home is to everyone, the one thing they all have in common is that “home” is where the residents can shut the rest of the world out and to be safe. But how well does the image of a safe haven square with the reality of a mandatory membership homeowners association? With all the hype of HOAs protecting values and in a lot of cases, providing extra security, is home still a safe haven? Is the “corporation” really concerned with ensuring everyone’s safety and well being?
Katie Souders joins us On The Commons for the first half of the show. Katie owns a Townhouse in a small development of only 37 units in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Access to her unit is from a city street with bars and restaurants and the inevitable inebriated customers who pour out of these joints only to take a break on Katie’s steps. And when one of these soused souls decided to pull her out of her own home, she had no doubt that it was time to take steps to protect herself, which she did by installing a small gate. This kept the drunks out of her house but offended the aesthetic sensitivities of the two entrenched board members. They apparently are not concerned with her safety so are fining her $100 a week for being cheeky enough to protect herself.
Andy Ostrowski joins us for the second half of the show. Andy, as you will remember, is a congressional candidate from Pennsylvania, who is passionate about individual constitutional rights. He has become aware of the outrageous problems his constituents face if they live in an HOA. He is also committed to providing protections at the Federal level when he finds himself with an office with his name on the door in Washington DC. I asked Andy how Federal legislation could help protect 20% of the citizens on America who, like it or not, find themselves at the mercy of the bullies in an HOA.
You’ll want to tune in. Katie manages to pack a whole lot about the many problems she and her neighbors face on a daily basis. We’ll hear about some totally ridiculous fines that are being assessed to her and her neighbors. There should be no question in anyone’s mind that this is a tool to fleece American homeowners. Andy provides some very valid reasons why things are really broke in residential America and why it may be time for the Federal government to stop pandering to the special interests and to start protecting the homeowners.