Kate Souders and Andy Ostrowski

“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. 


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  1. Have you seen this?


    CAI Announces Inaugural Legislative Scorecard
    Oct 27, 2014

    Tuesday, November 4th is Election Day across the nation. Here in Pennsylvania, every seat in the State House of Representatives is up for election as are half the seats in the State Senate. Do you know where your legislative candidates stand on issues that impact your homeowner, cooperative or condominium association?

    CAI has a resource to help educate Pennsylvania homeowners on important legislative issues currently pending or anticipated in the next legislative session which starts in January, 2015. We are pleased to announce the first-ever Community Associations Institute Pennsylvania Legislative Scorecard and encourage you and your neighbors to review this information prior to voting on Tuesday, November 4th. Managers are encouraged to provide a link to this information to the homeowners who live in your communities.

    In order to educate our members on candidates seeking their vote in the November General Election, CAI’s Pennsylvania Legislative Action Committee (PA LAC) created a short questionnaire seeking the opinions of candidates for state legislature regarding legislative issues important to community associations. These issues include:

    – Legislation creating a tax deduction for municipal services not provided to community associations
    – Collection of data on common interest ownership communities
    – Open meetings and access to association records
    – Recording fees for association documents
    – Quorum increases, and approval of budgets, fees and fines

    Surveys were sent by electronic mail to candidates in each legislative district. Candidate answers were not edited for content, spelling, or grammar and appear as they were submitted to CAI. You can review the answers provided by candidates as well as find out which candidates failed to respond to our survey. Only the districts where at least one candidate responded to the survey are listed. If your district is not included on the report, that means none of the candidates running for the legislature in your districts responded to our survey.

    Neither CAI nor the Pennsylvania Legislative Action Committee endorses candidates. CAI is not a political action committee and does not make financial contributions to candidates. The purpose of this report is to educate our members and the general public on legislation that may impact Pennsylvania’s common interest ownership communities.

    Click here for the complete scorecard. The pdf document has clickable links by county and district. Click on your district or county, or peruse the entire document.

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