More than 40 million Americans live in condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations today, according to new estimates released this week by the Community Associations Institute. As CAI celebrates its 25th anniversary, the number of community associations has burgeoned from 10,000 in 1970 to an estimated 205,000 today, governed by more than a million volunteer board and committee members.
"Community associations represent the greatest single extension of homeownership opportunities since the New Deal," said Clifford J. Treese, CPCU, ARM, author of CAI's 1998 Community Associations Factbook, due out in June. "Homeowners who volunteer to serve on boards of directors and committees attend nearly 1.25 million meetings annually to enable community associations to fulfill their three core functions: to operate as a community, a business and a governance. Their contribution helps community associations provide affordable access to amenities like pools, tennis courts and playgrounds as well as protect what is often the single largest investment people make in their lifetime."
To maintain physical assets and enhance property values, community associations collect $24.6 billion in assessments annually and hold $18 billion in reserve funds to cover future capital expenditures. Community associations provide 16.4 million units of home ownership worth $1.7 trillion in resale values—almost 15 percent of the U.S. residential housing stock. Planned communities currently account for 64 percent of community association development, followed by condominiums, 31 percent, and cooperatives, 5 percent.
With more than 50 percent of new development in large metropolitan areas using a community association format, CAI forecasts continued growth of 6,000 to 8,000 additional community associations each year. In other noteworthy trends, the Institute predicts:
greater sophistication among board members due to homeowner education; heightened demand for volunteers with governance skills gained through community association leadership from civic organizations and local government; increased specialization among industry professionals; and the emergence of "smart communities" that incorporate and use advanced information and communication technologies.
The Community Associations Institute is a nonprofit association created in 1973 to educate and represent the nation's 205,000 community associations—condominium associations, homeowner associations and cooperatives. CAI members include homeowners, associations and the professionals who provide products and services to them.
MEDIA CONTACT: Blaine TobinPhone: 703-970-9235