Association-managed communities are a hot topic. Nearly one out of every six Americans now lives in an association-managed community. In the largest metropolitan areas, more than 50 percent of new home sales are in communities managed by residential condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations. With an estimated 8,000 to 11,000 additional community associations formed each year, it's no surprise that association-managed communities have received increasing attention—both positive and negative—from the media and the public.
Community associations are the focus of the Community Associations Institute (CAI), a national, nonprofit 501c(6) association created in 1973 to educate and represent America's residential condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations and related professionals and service providers.
According to CAI Chief Executive Officer, Barbara Byrd Keenan, "We are truly dedicated to fostering vibrant, responsive, competent community associations that promote harmony, community and responsible leadership. That's why it's particularly frustrating not only to us, but to the entire community association industry, when an isolated situation here and there tends to get inordinate attention, while the more than 230,000 well-run associations, and the more than 47 million satisfied homeowners who live in them, aren't considered as newsworthy."
Studies* show that community association members are very satisfied with the association in which they live. Community associations offer a host of amenities—a large percentage offer swimming pools, parks, recreational facilities, and other community services and features. In addition to being satisfied with these amenities, 85% of homeowners believe that property values in their community are rising, an important factor in uncertain economic times.
"Community associations work well because the residents and their leadership agree to basic rules, rules that ensure that everyone can live in a harmonious, safe, and well-run community where homes maintain their value," says Keenan. "One of our most important objectives, however, is to ensure that those same rules not become overzealous or inflexible."
To accomplish that objective, CAI oversees a variety of educational and informational efforts, including:
Says Keenan: "Community associations offer many tremendous benefits to residents, and it's our mission to make sure that communities are well-run, welcoming, with smart and reasonable rules that make sense."
(* The National Survey of Community Association Homeowner Satisfaction conducted by The Gallup Organization in 1999; see http://www.cairf.org/research/survey_homeowner.aspx for more details)
MEDIA CONTACT: Blaine TobinPhone: 703-970-9235