HOA homeowners are ‘the forgotten man’

HOA homeowners are the “forgotten man” to use FDR’s characterization of the farmers and working-class citizens during the Great Depression of the 1930s. As Governor of NY running for the Presidency, FDR addressed the nation on April 7, 1932. The relevant parts are provided below.

It has been said that Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo because he forgotten his infantry . . . . The present administration in Washington provides, I think, a close parallel. It has either forgotten or does not want to remember the infantry of our economic army.  These unhappy times call for the plans of 1917  that build from the bottom and not the top down . . . that puts their faith in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid . . . .”

In short, the people count and have been ignored by the rich and powerful people and corporations. The Depression needs to focus on the unemployed people if this country is to survive the Depression.

Today our nation is facing the real possibility of the loss of our democratic principles  as set forth in the US Constitution. Yet, little attention had been paid the  authoritarian private government HOAs that have succeeded from the Union; the HOA legal scheme has become an institution and accepted as “that’s the way it is.”  (See The HOA-Land Nation  Within America).

Are the homeowners in HOAs the forgotten men and women of our times?  I think so.  The evidence is quite clear that today, as occurred some 90 years ago, they have been abandoned by special interest corporations and government posing as friends of the people.  And there is not nor has there been a protector of the people since FDR and JFK.

Homeowner price for justice and enforcement

Stan Hrincevich, President of the Coloradohoaforum.com, wrote a YourHub, Denver Post opinion on May 4th, HOA homeowner’s rights and voting rights of yesteryear.  Stan severely criticizes HOA justice for homeowners and the inequality of the financial costs to obtain justice.

“You have the right to vote but now you have to pay a poll tax and can’t afford to vote. . . . However, this seemingly fair mode of governance ensuring the rights of the homeowner and HOA is as much an illusion as ensuring voting rights in the late 1800s accompanied by the poll tax. HOA justice for homeowners is a pay-to-play enforcement system. If one has deep financial pockets, time, and legal resources, one can pursue one’s rights under their HOA governing documents. Others without such resources cannot.”

He recommends non-judicial hearings which, I assume, would include stronger enforcement of the decisions and the law than currently today in Colorado and in every other state. Implied is a reduced cost to homeowners  – the removal of the present day poll tax. 

I’ve also argued that the current status of HOA justice has the same effect as if it were a poll tax (made unlawful by LBJ in 1964)[1]. But the real obstacle to homeowner justice is the lack of state enforcement of HOA board violations of the law and the governing documents.  The vast majority of the reform laws rely on the good will of the HOA board and its attorneys to act in good faith with the intent of the law.  However, the conduct and acts of the HOAs and their attorneys has demonstrated that this reliance is unfounded. They should be held accountable as if they were municipal government employees.

“If there is no penalty [for] disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation.”    (Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #15)

“Your HOA board (BOD) is unaccountable under state laws with trivial, if any, penalties, or punishments for violations of state laws or the governing documents?  Without meaningful enforcement to hold BODs accountable and to serve as a detriment to continued violations, you are forced to sue just to get compliance.”[2]

I strongly agree with Stan, reform can only come from the legislature enacting just laws and removing pro-HOA laws.


  1. Poll Tax postings on HOA Constitutional Government. To say that a homeowner can go to court for a redress of grievances would be like saying that there was nothing wrong with the 1950s Poll Tax abomination, used as an effective, legal at the time, devise to stop voter registrations. (April 2010 Letter to NC House Select HOA Committee); In the late 1950s the Southern states enacted a Poll Tax and instituted certain “tests” in order for citizens to be eligible to register to vote.  No federal or state laws were violated, since the states were permitted to determine the methods for registering citizens, so long as it was not based on race (15th Amendment).  Of course, the tax was set at a level very few Blacks could afford to pay (Dec. 2008, Goldwater Institute: separate and unequal constitutions for HOAs);  Civil action amounts to a bar against justice much as the imposition of poll tax in the South in the 1950s used to prevent blacks from registering to vote. Justice for the average homeowner cannot be had a price which he cannot afford while the association is allowed to use member dues to hire a lawyer (June 2006, Where’s California’s Homeowners Bill of Rights?

2.      See HOA-Land Nation “Did you know?” Part 2 (2019).

WSJ poll on decaying American values shared by HOA-Land

As early as 2019 I began examining the relationship between the decaying national culture and that of the political and social culture of HOAs in HOA-Land. I came to the conclusion that the HOA social and political dynamics are identical as we have witnessed on the broad national scale. I am not sure as to what came first, the chicken or the egg? To what extend has the HOA independent principality mentality and legal scheme contributed to the national scene? Or are the HOA dynamics just a reflection of the broader culture in America today functioning in parallel with  the national malaise, are the private government HOAs?[i]

In “Part 1, The Cultural Dynamics of HOA-Land” of my HOA-Land Nation, I present my analysis of  the forces at work dominating the politics within the HOA private government.

Basically, the HOA legal structure and scheme is authoritarian in nature: strong central power, limited political freedoms, no accountability, and under the rule of man, not law. The authoritarian nature of HOA-Land is masked by a thorough indoctrination that presents a false picture of the real estate subdivision as democratic, inappropriately named a community, simply because the members are allowed to vote, as meaningless as it is.[ii]

Last month The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) conducted a poll on the decline in American values since 1998, just 25 years ago.[iii]  The University of Chicago interviewed 1,019 adults and revealed a decline that is reflected in   the HOA culture as well. In other words, Americans have changed their values to disregard the democratic values of our Founding Fathers.  And the private government CC&Rs constitution played a big part in this reshaping of America.

The WSJ findings reveal the interplay between the two cultures in several important aspects.

  • Community involvement … Dropped from 47% to 27%This finding supports HOA lack of involvement, non-volunteering members, the apathy, and failure to support substantive, well documented complaints by other members that is rampant throughout HOA-Land. HOA details can be read here HOA defect: volunteers & boards of directors.

·         Patriotism . . . Dropped from 70% to 38%.  How can it be explained? The prevalent conduct by the vast majority of HOA members who unquestionably accept the acts of the board of directors. When these actions are outright black and white violations of the Constitution, state laws and obligations of the HOA governing documents.  In short the HOA operates with impunity in regard to American values and beliefs, reflecting a lack of US patriotism and a preference for the HOA “constitution.”  HOA details can be read here:HOA Common Sense, No. 1: The New America of HOA-Land.

  • Money . . . rose from 31% to 43%.   The cultural messages over the last several decades have clearly been: greed is good; it’s all about me; and I want it all, and I want it now.  Paraphrasing the Reverend Wallis,

Do we want [property] values to prevail everywhere and in all things?  Are there some areas of life where [property] values should not determine what is most important — personal and family relationships, ethics and religion, community and public service and social justice?  Are there certain things degraded when [property values] are allowed to be the ultimate measure?  Are there certain social values and practices that are higher than market values?[iv] 

·         Religion . . . Dropped from 62% to 39%.  Each of the above drops in the conduct of Americans, also found in HOA-Land,  portrays a decline in the ethical and moral values and guidelines that were previously provided by institutional religions. “God id dead” is the watchword of federal government that has not provided a substitute code of conduct.     In America today, Rev. Jim Wallis wrote in 2010 (Rediscovering Values), “What has been deliberately and carefully made ‘socially acceptable’ was, not too long ago, thought to be irresponsible – both financially and morally.” See also,  God is dead, and so, too, are our unalienable rights.


[i] See Did HOA-Land contribute to the national disregard for democratic America?

[ii] George K. Staropoli,  The HOA-Land Nation Within America, StarMan Press, 2019.

[iii] WSJ/NORC Poll March 2023.

[iv] Jim Wallis, Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street, p. 27, Howard Books, 2010;

Authoritarian HOAs and AZ SOS Fontes on American authoritarianism

In January 2022 I summarized my earlier works on authoritarianism in HOAs as a natural consequence of authoritarianism in America.[1]

I came to the conclusion in 2019 that there was a rise in authoritarianism throughout the world including America. And with HOA-land[2] constituting of some 23% plus of Americans, authoritarianism was also well rooted in the HOA form of governance. 

“The HOA legal structure and scheme is basically authoritarian in nature: strong central power, limited political freedoms, no accountability, and under the rule of man, not law. ‘There are a lot of Americans who do not care for democracy. They do not mind [failing] to follow the Constitution, or that [it] poses a danger to democracy.’ (Authoritarianism in the HOA-Land Nation (2019)).

There is a mass psychology present in HOA-Land. Mass psychology is a study of how your behavior is influenced by large groups of people — “birds of the same feather flock together.” It is the result of the longtime conditioning and indoctrination into identifying with the principles and beliefs promoted by the CAI School of HOA Governance. Mass Psychology and Cult Behavior Within HOA-Land (2020)).

Arizona Secretary of State-Elect, Adrian Fontes

In MSNBC interview on Nov.17, 2022, the Arizona Secretary of State-Elect had the following to say about Americans .[3]

Election deniers . . . we need to call them authoritarians because they don’t believe in the democratic process.  They don’t believe in the consent of the governed. This is  so soundly an authoritarian movement when you look at the people who care about democracy, who care about the function of our government.”

“The people have spoken. There is an authoritarian movement in America, it may be loud . . . but it is dangerous, and we must continue to push back against it with vigor. . . . We have to become better citizens across the nation . . . we have to understand the fundamental structure [of government] better.”

Asked by the interviewer what can you do as secretary of state,  

“I have begun to work with . . . members of the Arizona Legislature . . . we got to be bigger than the problem, we got to be working together, to help people understand that we are all in this together.  You have to set your partisanship aside and work together toward common ends.”

“That’s the kind of leadership that folks like me have to set.   We got to reach out and show the American public that . . . cooperation will open up more avenues of conversation and that’s how we as leaders can set the example.”

Restructure the HOA model of governance

I have stepped outside the box to offer the boards of directors (BOD) a fresh view of the nature and legalities of the HOA legal scheme. StarMan Group HOA Management Consulting believes that the HOA legal model of government must be restructured to establish the climate and culture of the HOA enabling the restoration of the lost constitutional principles of democratic government — individual rights, justice, and fair play — for its members within the confines of a private contractual government.

The HOA model of local government is a fourth type of local government in addition to the public domains of commission, council-manager, and council-mayor forms. I ask: Is there a legitimate, bona fide reason and justification for the HOA to function outside public government?   No, there is none!

It goes without saying that private HOA governments must be restructured to return to the Union and restore member rights, freedom, privileges, and immunities.[4]

The task before the new Arizona administration

In 2006, HB 2824 (Ch.324), sponsored by Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, established OAH hearings of HOA disputes, followed in 2011 by SB 1148 (Ch. 185), sponsored by Senator Andy Biggs to revise HB 2824 to deal with constitutionality challenges by the trade group, CAI, and 11 years later Arizona now has HB 2158 (Ch. 125), sponsored by Rep. John Kavanagh, allowing for a more meaningful, democratic voice of the members in HOA government.

Hopefully, Fontes will apply his concerns about authoritarian America to that 23% of the population directly subject to authoritarian, contractual, private local government known as HOAs. Hopefully, the to-be-elected Attorney General will identify with Fontes, and they will exert strong influence on the new administration to correct the past legislative ills of supporting, co-operating, encouraging, and protecting the HOA legal structure.

Hopefully, the newly constituted Arizona Legislature will  restore fundamental and constitutional protections, especially due process and the equal protection of the law, to citizens living in homeowner associations.


[1] Authoritarianism in America; authoritarianism in HOA-Land (2022).

[2] Some 23% of Americans live in HOA-Land, that collection of fragmented independent principalities known, in general, as HOAs. HOAs are separate, local private governments not subject to the constitution, and collectively constitute a nation within a defined geographical region known as the United States.   “A nation consists of a distinct population of people that are bound together by a common culture, history, and tradition who are typically concentrated within a specific geographic region.”

[3] We Must Push Back Against Authoritarians, Says Arizona’s Secretary Of State-Elect – Bing video.

[4] Restructuring the HOA model, George K. Staropoli, StarMan Publishing  (2020).

Did HOA-Land contribute to the national disregard for democratic America?

“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind”  (Hosea 8:7)

In my 2020 Rogue Presidents post [1] I warned:

“I’ve come to the conclusion that the HOA social and political dynamics are identical as we have witnessed on the broad national scale. I am not sure as to what came first, the chicken or the egg? To what extend has the HOA independent principality mentality and legal scheme contributed to the national scene? Or are the HOA dynamics just a reflection of the broader culture in America today?”

I am not a psychologist or sociologist but a student all my life of leadership in government, corporate, and military. Based on the events over the past 2 years —and showing no signs of abating  for the next 2 years — regarding the staunch, cult follower support of Donald Trump by Republicans at the federal and state levels, I must lean toward a national, cultural change in America. It has led to a rejection of the Constitution and all its principles and values that truly made America great.

America today is no better that the banana republics and totalitarian governments that hypocritical politicians  openly criticize. The guiding rule for politicians that was “to avoid the appearance of impropriety” has become outright lying to the face of the public, redefining the traditional meaning of words, as George Orwell portrayed in his book 1984, to advance the political views of the cultists as necessary for America’s survival.

To a lessor extent, but functioning in parallel with  the national malaise, are the private government HOAs. With the members exhibiting the same cultist conduct that the HOA president and board can do no wrong.

Further reading:

  1. Rogue presidents: Trump and HOAs  (Nov. 2020).
  2. Countrywide political culture cause of HOA reform failures (Feb. 2021).