Good government and healthy communities

Deborah Goonan accurately describes the environment and culture of HOA-Land, that dispersed and fragmented nationwide collection of subdivisions ruled by authoritarian HOA governments.  In her blog, What is the root cause of HOA dysfunction?, she covers issues like a “flawed government model,” and “apathy is a symptom of a ‘sick’ association, not the cause.

She contrasts the good old days of civic and neighborhood associations of neighbors, not mandatory members with forced mandatory membership ruled by a developer created “constitution” handed down to homebuyers.  “But civic involvement in mandatory, developer-created HOAs is very rarely seen.”

Deborah demonstrates her understanding of the legal nature and structure of the HOA concept: “The HOA is not the community itself – neither its physical structure nor its people.”  It’s a form of de facto political government that is unrecognized by state governments and allowed to operate outside the law — outside the Constitution.

The HOA government creates dysfunctional communities, as Deborah points out, where the health, safety and general welfare are focused on property values.  The “first and only legitimate object of good government” is, according to Thomas Jefferson, “The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction.”

Published in: on March 30, 2017 at 6:12 pm  Comments (6)  

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  1. My comment to Deborah’s post on her blog, “What can be done about unconstitutional clauses in HOA CC&Rs?” (

    Deborah and commentators just touch the surface of the immense con job by the Evil Empire.

    Pursuing any constitutionality challenge will lead to the defense that “you agreed to be bound.” Show this to be invalid and we win! And it can easily be done!

    The second line of defense, a more legalistic defense, is the fact that CC&Rs “run with the land” and are part of the real estate doctrine of equitable servitudes. Equitable servitudes, modified and adopted by the Restatement of Property in 2000 giving favorable treatment to the HOA form of governance, are the modern incarnation of the medieval doctrine that the sovereign controls his land and passes down restrictions and uses to owners forever after. CC&Rs, like this doctrine, is autocratic and not democratic, and is promoted to supersede constitutional law (See Restatement section 3.1, comment h).

    Think about this very important and controversial Supreme Court case, as applicable to HOA-Land, that overturned a 121year-old Supreme Court precedent: Brown v. Board of Education. The SC held that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”, overturning the decision by the Plessy court in 1896. How about the idea that SEPARATE HOA HOUSING IS INHERENTLY UNEQUAL”?

    Is HOA housing equal? Are people living in HOAs treated equally under the law as their counterparts not living in HOA-Land? And remember, the consent to agree defense is laughable in that, it itself, is an unequal protection of the law violation.

  2. Yes, Apathy allows for those bad homeowners to get control and take advantage in all sorts of ways. Not just embezzlement but abuse of their neighbors. A little good news from AZ homeowners lately. A bad lawyer got disbarred in Phoenix and another homeowner won a case against he abusive HOA and now they have to pay her $100K plus attorney fee.

    • Apathy is a misunderstood issue, because the great educator and all knowledgeable expert on HOA-Land cannot admit that it is the intrinsic failings of the HOA legal concept that causes people to become non-involved. In the public realm, it is the sentiment we hear quite often: you can’t fight city hall. Furthermore, the working requirement for the ideal democratic society is public involvement, which is at a very low level in the public domain — see election turnouts. In HOA-Land, insisting on turnouts that exceed the behavior of the people in general is dysfunctional.

      It’s pointing the blame elsewhere. HOAs are perfect; the people must comply and all will be well!

      • And given the prevalence of HOAs as a sort of subsstitute or stand-in for public government and Constitutional oversight, is it any wonder that there is even less civic involvement in public affairs than ever before? Why bother to follow local politics, let alone vote in local elections, if the local government provides little, if any, service of value within the boundaries of your planned community or condo complex?

        State and federal lawmakers and elected officials are no better, as they appear to have turned a blind eye and largely abandoned their duties to the people who reside and own homes in common interest, association governed communities.

      • Deborah steps outside the box created by CAI and shows the broader impact of HOA-Land on our constitutional system of government. Congratulations for an excellent job!

        She touches on the sophisticated con job whereby the Great Educator advances its agenda. Josef Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Public Enhancement and Propaganda, would be proud. Propaganda is anything to advance one’s agenda — the truth, untruth, half-truth and outright lies. CAI still misrepresents itself before the courts, government officials and government bodies, at HOA seminars sponsored by municipalities, and the public at large. One aspect of its program is to have everyone focused on the smallest element, on isolated incidents by a few troubled people, by individual state laws, and avoiding the broader issues of constitutional infringements on individual rights. And CAI has been very successful in this.

        Follow Deborah’s lead! Step out of the box and take a good look at the broader issues shaping our society. Keep America united and stop HOA-Land with its own version of a constitution from spreading.

      • If you don’t believe you’ve been conned, please read The Emperor’s New Clothes at

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