Community Associations Institute (CAI), the leading international authority on community association governance, management, and education, applauds Wyatt Clarke and Matthew Freedman for conducting research on the community association housing model (“The rise and effects of homeowners associations" in the July 2019 edition of The Journal of Urban Economics), as outlined in a recent CityLab article. They found, as we have too, that community associations are growing and that they provide tremendous value to their residents.
However, the researchers make a troubling jump suggesting that HOAs may be facilitating segregation. The implication, backed by loose metrics and data that hardly hint at disproportionate demographics, is ill-informed and poorly concluded.
Community associations are popular and growing today not because they exclude certain groups but because there's value in collective management, because local municipalities facing fiscal challenges are privatizing public functions, and because of a persistent effort to increase affordable housing, such as condominiums.
Homeowners associations and condominiums are successful because they help homeowners maintain and improve their property values. Clarke and Freedman found that homes in HOAs sold for an average of 4% more than similar homes outside of HOAs. That's proof that the community association housing model is working—that the rules and regulations, as well as efforts to build connections between neighbors through community amenities and events, are effective and valuable.
The vast majority (90%) of community association residents recognize their association's rules protect and enhance their property values (62%) or have a neutral effect (28%), according to research conducted by Zogby Analytics for the Foundation for Community Association Research. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed expressed that neighbors elected to the governing board “absolutely" or “for the most part" serve the best interests of their communities. Overall, 63% of community association residents say they are “very" or “somewhat" satisfied with their community association experience, with 22% reporting a neutral response.
We know that the best community associations have knowledgeable governing boards, highly-engaged residents, and educated and trained professional managers leading their communities. We also know that there are countless examples of neighbors helping neighbors and impactful stories that prove community associations are where residents come together to learn about and accept each other's unique values, races, and cultures.
About Community Associations Institute Since 1973, Community Associations Institute (CAI) has been the leading provider of resources and information for homeowners, volunteer board leaders, professional managers, and business professionals in 344,500 homeowners associations, condominiums, and co-ops in the United States and millions of communities worldwide. With more than 40,000 members, CAI works in partnership with 36 legislative action committees and 64 affiliated chapters within the U.S., Canada, United Arab Emirates, and South Africa, as well as with housing leaders in several other countries, including Australia, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom. A global nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization, CAI is the foremost authority in community association management, governance, education, and advocacy. Our mission is to inspire professionalism, effective leadership, and responsible citizenship—ideals reflected in community associations that are preferred places to call home. Visit us at www.caionline.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @caisocial.
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