They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Those who give up liberty for the false promise of protecting property values will fare no better.
THE RIGHT TO OWN YOUR HOME
Should mandatory membership in a labor union as a condition of employment be prohibited?
Should mandatory membership in a homeowners association (H.O.A.) as a condition of home ownership be prohibited?
If you are a Republican, conservative, or libertarian, the answer to the first question is probably "yes".
Because, as Ron Paul said, "Making workers pay dues to be represented by an organization they disagree with is hardly fair or just."
But the answer to the second question is probably "no". Why?
Do Republicans believe that making homeowners pay dues to be represented by an organization they disagree with is fair and just?
Why is the G.O.P. more concerned about the 15 million Americans who are "forced" to join labor unions and pay $8 billion per year in dues
than they are about the 60 million Americans who are "forced" to join an H.O.A. and pay $50 billion per year in dues,
and make their personal assets forever collateral to whatever debts and liabilities the H.O.A. creates-- something that a labor union does not do?
Would a labor union do this?
The Right-To-Own-Your-Home would allow homeowners to opt-out of the association at any time, without having to give up their home. This proposal is not a radical idea; it is based on existing laws and legislation supported by "small government" conservatives and libertarians.
Scroll down past the updates below for details.
UPDATE: April 12, 2012
Yes, I'm painfully aware that I still need to update the format and content of this web site, and I've been promising to do so for several months.
On the bright side, the DNS issues from last year seems to have been resolved.
Thanks to investigative reporter Ward Lucas for his kind words about this web site.
Also, there is a new documentary film called The HOAX in the works. See thehoaxfilm.com
The recent shooting in Florida is making people aware that HOAs are defective corporations. As former H.O.A. lawyer Evan McKenzie wrote:
Unlike most other corporations, which protect an investor's personal assets from the corporation's debts and liabilities, the asset of your H.O.A. corporation is lien rights to your property and your never-ending obligation to pay assessments (a.k.a. "H.O.A. dues"). If your H.O.A. corporation incurs extra debts, such as a fine or judgment or other unexpected expense, your H.O.A. corporation will raise your regular assessments or impose a special assessment to cover its debt. Your legal obligation to pay these assessments is secured by your personal assets. Even if your mortgage is paid off, your house -- and everything else you own -- is forever collateral to your H.O.A. corporation and its creditors.
A hypothetical $1 million judgment against the Retreat At Twin Lakes H.O.A. -- which has 200 homeowners - would make each homeowner responsible to pay $5,000 each. A $5 million judgment would make each homeowner liable for $25,000. As Ward Lucas points out, "No homeowner can move out of this nightmare." Until this is matter is settled, which could take years, no homeowner at the Retreat At Twin Lakes H.O.A. is going to be able to sell their property, because nobody will want to buy into such a potential liability.
UPDATE: March 19, 2012
In the latest episode of her radio program "On the Commons", hostess Shu Bartholomew mentioned this incident I had not heard about before:
The only other reference to this story I've been able to find so far is an undated web page at www.ccfj.net/foreclTampa.htm on Jan Bergman's web site.
If anybody has more information -- dates, names, etc. -- about this, please let me know.
On an unrelated note, photographer Oleg Volk has a short blog post about "submission rituals" that's worth reading.
In our modern life, a typical submission ritual is...being polite to abusive bureaucrats.
The greater the amount of effort required to live unmolested by the authorities, the less free a society is."Although Mr. Volk doesn't mention it, and is probably unaware of the issue, his piece describes life in an so-called "community association", where we are told to prostrate ourselves before the
UPDATE: Although I submitted a comment in response to his blog post pointing this out, Mr. Volk did not approve my comment for publication.
UPDATE: February 04, 2012:
Communisty association forecloses on home of 81-year old Korean War veteran Sherman McCray to collect $339 in late H.O.A. dues.
"Homeowners Association Pursues Extreme Option — Foreclosure —Against Korean War Veteran" Orlando Sentinel. January 22, 2012
"Readers Offer To Help Korean War Veteran Facing Foreclosure" Orlando Sentinel. January 25, 2012
Once again, the shameful treatment of America's military service members and veterans by H.O.A.s
has been ignored by main stream pundits, including those who claim to "support the troops".
Your Search for "sherman mccray" did not return any results.
New: If Ron Paul had the integrity and courage to speak about H.O.A.s, here
New: Discussion at Evan McKenzie's blog about the legitimacy of HOA "contracts"; links here, where an H.O.A. attorney admits that
...the real problem which is that community associations are created mostly for the benefit of municipalities and developers,
with very little insistence by government on a financial model that can remotely meet the expectations of the eventual homeowners.
Community associations are dying financially. Their business model is fundamentally flawed and many will eventually become obsolete and fail...
Community associations are a financial disaster in normal times,
And yes, I'm painfully aware that 3 months after the last update, the layout of this web site still needs to be worked on.
UPDATE (October 29, 2011): The "Vast Right-To-Own-Your-Own-Home Conspiracy" web site is a work in progress by one person who has a real day job, that's been keeping me extremely busy for the past two months.
Once I get caught up with other matters I need to attend to, I will be updating the look and content of this site.
In the meantime, please be aware that the URL www.RightToOwn.org is working properly,
but RightToOwn.org (without the "www") sometimes does not, and I haven't had time to troubelshoot this.
THE FOLLOWING IS A PROPOSAL TO
PROTECT THE RIGHTS
OF INDIVIDUAL AMERICAN HOMEOWNERS
"Right To Work" laws are based on the idea that mandatory membership in a labor union as a condition of employment should be prohibited by law.
source: www.nrtw.org/rtws.htmThe "Right To Own Your Own Home" is based on the idea that mandatory membership in an H.O.A. union as a condition of home ownership should also be outlawed.
Contract Requiring or Prohibiting Homeowners Association (H.O.A.) Membership Void
A contract is void if it requires that, to own a home, homeowners or applicants for home ownership:
The Right-To-Own-Your-Own-Home would allow homeowners to opt-out of the association at any time, without fear of having to give up their home.
Contract Requiring or Prohibiting Labor Union Membership Void
A contract is void if it requires that, to work for an employer, employees or applicants for employment:
(1) must be or may not be members of a labor union; or
(2) must remain or may not remain members of a labor union. (Enacted 1993.)
source: Texas Codes Title 3 § 101.053.
There are currently 60 million Americans, 1/5 of the U.S. population, living under the jurisdiction of some type of homeowners association.
HOAs collect an estimated $30 billion to $50 billion (with a "b") a year from homeowners, or $500 to $800 per year for each person living in an HOA, with almost no oversight or accountability of how that money is used.
While everyone else is struggling, HOAs are doing quite well. HOA management companies are adding customers and employees despite the economic downturn. It has become such a lucrative industry that new businesses are popping up specializing in buying HOA debt....Maybe if the HOAs had eased up on driving the owners to foreclosure, and instead tried to work with despondent owners, they would not be in this situation.
source: Rachel Alexander. "Homeowners Associations Becoming Quasi-Governmental and Unavoidable" Townhall Conservative. June 22, 2011
Right-to-work states have generally lower unemployment, higher job growth, lower taxes and better business climates,
source: InstaPundit.com (July 01, 2011 at 07:04 AM)
Three of the nation’s ten best public high schools are in Texas — the no-income tax, right-to-work state . . . Florida, another no-income tax, right-to-work state . . . has two of the top ten schools.
source: InstaPundit.com (June 21, 2011 at 10:18 AM)
Right -To-Work States Saved the Economy's Bacon in 2011
imagine what a "Right-To-Own-Your-Own-Home" law can do for the housing market, individual property rights, and our communities!
Earlier this year, Republicans in the United States Senate introduced a National Right To Work Law.
Can you spot the difference between these two news stories?
In 1999, less than half of homeowners in HOAs said they would buy their next home in an H.O.A. The poll was sponsored by the Community Associations Institute (C.A.I.), the trade and lobbying organization for professional H.O.A. industry vendors.
In a 1999 Gallup poll commissioned by the Community Associations Institute, 75 percent of respondents said they were
''very or extremely satisfied'' with their associations. ''People are moving to communities like that because they are looking
to create a lifestyle for themselves,'' said Paul D. Grucza, president-elect of the institute.
source: "Homeowner Boards Blur Line Of Just Who Rules The Roost" New York Times. July 27, 2003
By 2007, the attitudes had changed significantly.
Two-thirds of people who live in the jurisdiction of a homeowners association are "annoyed" by them, or worse,
and 19% have been in what they call a "war" with their HOA.
This is according to a survey of more than 3,000 customers by Service Magic.
According to the survey of homeowners in H.O.A.s,
The number of people who said they would buy their next home in an H.O.A. fell from 40% in 1999 to 20% in 2007.
It is significant that 2/3 of homeowners in H.O.A.s, 40 million Americans, have a negative opinion of H.O.A.s. The growth of H.O.A.s has been supply-driven by developers and governments, not demand-driven by consumers.
That 1/5 of homeowners in H.O.A.s, 12 million Americans, have been in what they call a "war" with their H.O.A. indicates there is a serious problem that has been ignored and needs to be addressed.
Contrast that with the number of workers being "forced to join a labor union." There are less than 15 million workers belonging to labor union (7.6 million in the public sector, and 7.1 million in the private sector). If the plight of of 15 million American workers is worthy of legislative protection at the federal level, then the plight of 60 million Americans is at least as worthy.
When given a choice, 3,600 of the 3,800 property owners in the Verde Village Property Owners Association (Yavapai County, Arizona) refused to to pay a meager $25 per year in H.O.A. dues. [ "End of an Era?" Verde Independent. February 28, 2008, via "Starving the Beast. A Case History" Disloyal Opposition. February 21, 2008 ]. I dont' know why, but obviously thousands of homeowners felt that they were not getting $25 a year worth of goods and services from their H.O.A.
Imagine what would happen if tens of millions of homeowners, many who are required to pay hundreds of dollars per month to their H.O.A. (under threat of foreclosure if they can't), would do if given the freedom to opt-out of their so-called "community associations".
A "Right To Own Your Own Home" Act will not be without its opponents.
Many people believe that like the relationship between a worker and a labor union, the relationship between an HOA corporation and a homeowner is the result of a private contract that both parties freely agreed to. Nobody "forces" an American to join a labor union, nor to join an HOA.
Can you spot the differences between the real-world stories and the parodies below?
On this web site, I will use the term "homeowners association" or "H.O.A." to describe what are known in the industry as "community associations",
although I like to call them, "communisty associations", since they are dedicated to the collective ownership of what should be your private property.
Community associations, also known as "common interest communities," encompass H.O.A.s, condominium associations, co-ops, etc.
However, I believe that term "H.O.A." is in common-usage, but few people outside the industry have heard of the term "community association."
Also, "community associations" are about communities as much as the "German Democratic Republic" was a democratic republic.