Community associations are subject to state laws
that control how associations are established,
governed and managed. This state-based regulatory
system has proven successful because it is
predicated on the principle of local control over
land-use and real estate decisions.
All states have laws governing condominiums
or community associations. Many of these laws
are modeled after the Uniform Common Interest
Ownership Act (UCIOA) or previous versions of the
uniform act. UICOA was drafted by The Uniform
Law Commission. The Uniform Law Commission
provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived,
and well drafted legislation that brings clarity and
stability to critical areas of state law.
As a general rule, CAI believes law and regulation
to promote healthy, vibrant communities is best
crafted and enacted by state governments and not
by or through legislative or regulatory procedures
at the federal level. In general, federal policymakers
share this view. However, as community associations
are located in each state, federal policies can
impact community associations, but often in ways
that federal policy makers do not anticipate.
In the housing and financial crisis, federal mortgage
modification and short-sale initiatives did not account for assessments owed to associations
by homeowners delinquent on their mortgages.
Federal regulators also failed to take necessary
steps to ensure that properties in foreclosure were
adequately maintained, compounding the negative
impact of foreclosures on associations.
The financial burdens caused by these oversights
fell directly on the shoulders of community
association homeowners. Across the country,
association homeowners faced steep increases
in housing costs due to the failure of federal
policy makers to integrate changes in housing
markets and housing preferences in federal policy
Whether the issue is waste water and ecosystem
management, energy efficiency standards for
multi-story residential buildings, federal disaster
assistance, or how the U.S. mail is delivered,
federal policy makers must ensure that national
policies account for the community association
model of housing. Community associations are a
growing, popular and successful housing option.
Federal policy makers must understand changes in
the way consumers define community and account
for the services consumers demand in today’s
housing market when setting national policy.