The Case Against State Protection of Homeowners Associations
George K. Staropoli
StarMan Publishing, LLC
2003, ebook edition, 163 pp, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2  $5.00 ebook price 

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The author, a veteran homeowner rights activist, makes his case against state government protection of homeowner associations.  He documents, using his appearances before the Arizona Legislature, state legislative hostility toward upholding the civil liberties of homeowners with their broad, misguided  interpretation of “private contract” prohibitions, and  the use of statutes that favor the HOA; he provides numerous supporting materials from US Supreme Court, federal appellate and state court decisions; he provides research and publications by political scientists going back to 1992; and he even provides, in support of the advocates, the publications of the national  trade organization that lobbies state legislatures against returning homeowner associations to the American system of government.

The opinions and evidence presented makes a case for a uniform view that homeowner associations are state actors – governmental agencies as defined by the US Supreme Court --  and that there is no  overwhelming public interest to warrant the denial of  the US Bill of Rights and laws to homeowners living in associations.


An excerpt:

 Over the past forty years there has been an ever-increasing dispersion of a new social order in America. Its roots are founded in the spread of planned communities and its model of community governance that is an undemocratic, police state insistence on conformity to rules set through the façade of democratic institutions, much like those we are familiar with in regard to those “Peoples Republics” throughout the world.  Each day, more and  more children are living under and learning about this form a private government that does not respect the beliefs, rights and freedoms underlying the US Constitution or US Bill of Rights.  

The  proliferation of planned communities and their HOA/POA/CID form of governance arose from the ashes of and over the failures of utopian views of ideal societies. This form of governance is based on socialism with the ownership of common properties and the need for the governmental control and regulation of the members of the community.  As with all planned communities, from the utopian communities of the early 1920s to the existing Cuban, Chinese and Korean governments, an enforcement agency is necessary because the foundations of the society and community rest of principles and values found, over history, to be contrary to our human nature.

According to Forrest McDonald in Novus Ordo Seclorum, the Founding Fathers did  not try to reform human nature, but set up mechanisms of checks and balances and a separation of powers that recognized human behavior for what it has been for centuries.  Utopian ideals were not made part of the “new order of ages” created by the Founding Fathers, but   ideals based on the most prominent political and economic theorists and principles were used to create the greatest nation on earth.

These associations quickly found that it was necessary that the micromanagement a person’s life is required in order to attain conformity with the objectives of the association. And the objectives of these “states”, these private organizations based on court rulings that CC&Rs are valid contracts,  are the maintenance of property values through the strict enforcement of the CC&Rs by a governing body so created, without a homeowners bill  of rights, without any reference or inclusion of the US or state Constitutions, and with the total abdication of involvement and oversight by our civil government.  In essence, they have become a state within a state and protected by the greater civil government to function, operate and violate the laws, values and fundamental beliefs of our country.

The reader is probably saying to himself, “No, this is not true, just the babblings of a malcontent with a personal issue.  There is no radical change or a new order within American society. It is not possible here in America. It could never happen here, the bastion of democracy”.  But, it’s true and has happened here in America, the bastion of democracy.

How this has come about is well documented in several books.  In the early 1990s, two notable books were published by political scientists:  Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government, Evan McKenzie and Neighborhood Politics: Residential Community Associations in American Governance, Robert J. Dilger.  A more recent book, 2000, is Community Associations: The Emergence and Acceptance of a Quiet Innovation in Housing, Donald Stabile, funded by the homeowner association trade group, Community Associations Institute, CAI, and one of its founding supporters, The Urban Land Institute, a non-profit,  real estate land usage organization founded as the Real Estate Foundation, as separate from the FHA.    As Stabile well documents, the FHA worked assiduously to promote and encourage the use of planned communities as a means to affordable housing under the most efficient use of the land argument of ULI.  Yet, there has been no involvement by political scientists or sociologists in this national effort to  restructure our society around profit making for  real estate interests, with a “good word” by our federal government to promote this new social order.

In this book, The Case Against State Protection of Homeowner Associations, the author, George K. Staropoli, reveals his naïve attempt over 3 years in Arizona to call attention to the acceptance, encouragement and defense of these private government organizations by state legislatures, state agencies such as the real estate departments,  the builder and real estate agent trade groups and sadly, the media that still refuses  to present both sides equally.  This book documents the harsh reality that our state governments have abdicated the values, beliefs, principles and laws that made America stand out alone as the model of good government; that special interest groups have promoted their views of this social order while hiding the other side of the coin; and that this order has been accepted by the public in general, defending their acts as “protecting their investment values in their homes” and that they are private organizations that are party to private contracts entered into voluntarily  and with full knowledge of the consequences by homeowners.  

The author provides substantial documentation relating to violations of US and state Constitutions and statutes; US Supreme Court and Arizona and other state Supreme Court rulings directly bearing  on these violations; of attitudes that reflect “better bricks and mortar” make a better America and that fundamental American values, beliefs and principles play second place to this overriding “state” objective of these planned communities.  Self-interest, isolation from the larger community and conformity are the overriding values of this new societal order rapidly overtaking America.  

This is  must reading for anyone seeking a new home, for students of government, for political theorists and scientists, for historians, for government officials and for the judiciary. This book reveals how this “quiet innovation in housing” has undermined our American way of life and replaced it with an overriding, yet superficial and unproven concern that planned communities are the only means to enhance property values. 

Note: Please see Citizens Against Private Government HOAs for more information on homeowner association issues.