The value of an HOA

By Laurianne Sutton
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Almost 70 million Americans reside in the nearly 350,000 community associations, also known as planned communities (e.g. homeowners associations, condominium communities, and housing cooperatives), in the U.S. It’s no surprise that those numbers are expected to continue to grow given the services, maintenance, safety, security, and amenities that accompany homeowners association living.

Delivery of services
Trash pickup, street paving, lighting and snow removal—which were once the exclusive province of local governments—are taken care of by community associations. Not only has privatization relieved local municipal budgets, but it has proven economically efficient for homeowners.

Land use & affordability
Community associations provide an answer to the growing issue of sprawl and crawl, which is no longer confined to cities and surrounding suburbs. Planned communities offer a more efficient use of land than unplanned areas in which developments leapfrog over each other into any available space. These land-use efficiencies make homes more affordable for first-time homebuyers, retirees, and low- and moderate-income families.

Protected property values
Under the leadership of volunteer board members, associations provide a safe, well-maintained living environment and preserve the community’s character. Cooperation and compliance are accomplished through governing documents that typically address architectural guidelines, such as additions, decks, and paint colors; as well as pet and parking restrictions. Enforced fairly and equitably by the members themselves, these documents guide the management and governance of the association.

Whether it’s because associations offer clean, attractive, and safe neighborhoods—in large part due to effective rules that preserve property values—or the fact that associations seek leadership from governing boards and community managers who regularly go above and beyond to serve their communities, one thing’s for sure: Americans love their community associations. Check out CAI’s homeowners’ satisfaction survey to find out why association residents are overwhelmingly satisfied in their communities. explores questions and comments from community association members living in condominiums, homeowners associations, and housing cooperatives. We then assemble trusted experts to provide practical solutions to your most commonly asked, timely questions. We never use real names, but we always tackle real issues. Have a question or comment about your community association? Submit here for consideration:

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Laurianne Sutton

Laurianne Sutton is CAI’s Senior Marketing Manager. Laurianne works closely with the CAI creative team to develop and manage all of CAI’s marketing emails and campaigns for events and resources, including the successful #CAIPets initiative and award-winning redesign of the CAI Education Catalog. In addition to marketing, Laurianne has a background in journalism and a passion for the art of writing. She has contributed several articles to Common Ground™ magazine and Community Manager newsletter, CAI’s award-winning bimonthly publications.