More than 65 million Americans reside in homeowners associations, condominium communities, cooperatives and other planned communities. All of these communities—more than 330,000 nationally—share a few essential goals—preserving the nature and character of the community, providing services and amenities to residents, protecting property values and meeting the established expectations of owners.
In other words, association leaders—homeowner leaders and their professional business partners—strive to build and sustain communities people want to call home.
Many homeowners associations and condominium communities offer a range of amenities that can include swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness centers, playgrounds, lakes and ponds and golf courses. Many associations also provide services such as professional security, trash pickup, street paving and lighting, snow removal and landscaping.
Community associations also extend some degree of protection against neighborhood degradation and deterioration—eyesores like cars on cinder blocks, dilapidated homes or yards that are not maintained. This requires not only creating reasonable community standards, but also enforcing rules articulated in the association's governing documents. In the best communities, associations offer a real sense of community, an important attribute in an increasingly transient society.
Many of today's homebuyers are purchasing homes in associations for the second or third time. They value the benefits of living in a planned community and understand the obligations of that choice.
The typical community is governed homeowner volunteers who are elected by their fellow owners to set policy and oversee the professionals and business hired by the association. Smaller associations with limited budgets often rely on resident volunteers for various management responsibilities.
Many communities contract with management firms and other product and service providers for selected services, such as general management, accounting, maintenance and legal guidance. Larger homeowners associations typically hire full-time, on-site professional managers.
More information about community associations can be found in the documents listed on this page under Related Documents.