4 HOA Security Mishaps

By Association Voice

Communities with HOAs like to boast about their security, but too many HOAs make common security mistakes that waste money or are just ineffective. If your HOA security securityisn’t up to snuff, check out these four common problems and how to avoid them.

Failing to Conduct an Audit

Perhaps the biggest mistake HOAs make when it comes to security is not conducting an audit of the neighborhood. Without a good audit, how are you supposed to know what is and is not working? Before you can really make a security plan, you need to conduct an audit and look for vital assets, exposures, vulnerabilities, threats and what is already working to protect the community. Only then can you start creating a plan.

Not Following a Plan

Speaking of a security plan, not following one is another big security mishap. When you don’t have a good security plan, it’s too easy to implement wrong changes. For example, you choose to invest in some CCTV cameras, but you don’t have anyone to watch them. Another problem with not having, or following, a plan is that the HOA starts making hasty decisions that don’t really fix a problem. Before long, people aren’t even sure why some rules are in place because they no longer make sense.

Forgetting About Environmental Design

There are some environmental changes you can make to help increase security. By using planned environmental design, you make it harder for criminals to hide. One good environmental change is to install more street lights to reduce the number of shadowy hiding places. Another good example is to reduce the amount of shrubbery in yards, especially in darkened areas. It’s easy for criminals to hide behind these shrubs and case the area.

Relying Too Much on One Measure

Another problem is that some HOAs rely too much on just one measure. Your security plan should include a variety of steps taken to protect the neighborhood. A common example of this is neighborhoods that only rely on CCTVs to catch criminals. While CCTV cameras may be a good piece of the security puzzle, they shouldn’t be the only solution. As another example of an incomplete solution, a neighborhood may have a fence, but unless there is a gate with a guard, anyone can still enter the community.

Everyone wants to live in a secure neighborhood, and HOAs have the ability to make it happen, but only if they create a good plan and stick to it. With a good plan that has multiple security measures, your neighborhood is sure to remain safe and sound.

AssociationVoice is a leading technology provider to communities and management companies.

Addressing Open Comments at HOA Board Meetings

By The Highwall Companies

It’s required by law that time be set aside at each HOA board meeting for members to address the Board. This time for open comments allows members to have a voice about issues in the Association; however it’s important to understand what can and cannot be done during this time.

Explain Expectations

First and foremost, members must understand that the Board cannot discuss or take action on an item if it isn’t on the agenda. It can ask if there is anything members would like the Board to consider, but then the response must be “we will collect information and get back to you, the item will be agendized at the next Board meeting.”

Members want answers right away, but the Board is under no obligation to give them. In fact, it’s the law that an issue cannot be discussed if it isn’t on the agenda.

The Struggle

It can be difficult for HOA board members to simply say “thank you for your input” during the open comments time at meetings because they feel pressure from the audience to give an answer or provide a solution on the spot.

Members will often come demanding an answer and get frustrated when they realize they won’t get one. On the flipside, it can be hard for board members to not address the issue at hand because they typically care more about being liked by members than acting in a professional and business-like manner.

Conflict-resolutionRegardless, the Board will have to stand its ground and emphasize it is not going to give an answer at that time. The primary reason for this is to diffuse any arguments that inevitably happen when people become heated and angry.

Real-life example

A homeowners association in California was considering removing a marshy part of the lawn in a common area park. The rumor mill took hold and members became angry because they thought no one was going to be able to use the park any longer.

This wasn’t the case, but the item wasn’t on the agenda. An appropriate response from the HOA board would be: “Thank you for coming. It’s important we hear from you. Here’s the issue, we have not taken any action, and would like your input. What ideas do you have?”

Then the issue can be researched and put on the next meeting’s agenda for discussion and action.

When to address open comments

The law doesn’t dictate if the time for open comments should be at the beginning or end of the Board meeting. It’s up to the Board to determine what works best for the homeowners association.

If the time for open comments is at the beginning, the Board serves the members first by letting them share their issues and then allowing them to leave.

If it’s at the end, often members will become restless or even leave if the meeting is running long. The issue doesn’t get mentioned and you risk it brewing in the members until they boil over.

Either way, it’s not a democratic process. It’s a formal Board meeting, and people are being allowed to speak, express their concerns, and give their input.

Ideas to let people speak

Some homeowners associations have members fill out a slip with the issue they’d like to talk about summing up the main information.

A best practice used by many HOA boards is to limit the amount of time each member has to speak. If a hot-button issue is brought up, and there are 50 people present, a 3 to 5-minute time limit would probably suffice.

A Board will need a strong leader to enforce these parameters. It’s also crucial that members don’t get involved in a debate because you can’t come to a conclusion since it’s not an agendized item.

Bonus Tip: If you notice a few of the same people consistently participate in the open comments time and ask good questions, encourage them to run for the Board so they can have an even bigger impact on their homeowners association.

The Hignell Companies is a family owned company that has offered property development services and property management for over 60 years.

Community Associations and Snow

By: Jeffrey Van Grack

As the entire country continues to endure severe winter weatehr conditions, Jeffrey Van Grack takes on the issue of snow in community associations.

snowFrom Thanksgiving until the end of winter (and sometimes even later), snow may fall in area community associations and create issues of safety and parking that can escalate and become dangerous. The biggest concern and perhaps the biggest complaint that boards struggle with is snow removal. This is usually a no-win situation for the manager (think Snowmaggedon).

Despite what individual owners may think, boards of directors have no control of the snow, but they are responsible for snow removal (or lack thereof). In an effort to meet their legal obligation and to diminish the amount of callers, the board and management should hire a competent, properly insured snow removal company that is reliable. Hiring at the last minute the guy who shows up with the plow at the end of his truck is a mistake waiting to happen. Hiring someone who you are assured will show up as required pursuant to a written contract will go a long way towards goodwill of the owners for the entire year. Aside from the inconvenience and chaos it creates in the community, the removal of snow can be filled with liability issues, so having a competent properly insured contractor in place before the first snowfall is vital.

My favorite issue in a blizzard is when an owner (especially in townhouse communities) cleans a parking space and returns 20 minutes later to see a neighbor has taken over the “common area” parking space. Wars sometime start with this process. Your association may wish to send a reminder at the beginning of the season that all spaces are common spaces and that they may not be reserved.

Jeff Van Grack is a community association attorney whose practice has been devoted exclusively to representing community and homeowners associations, condominiums and co-operatives for more than 30 years. For more information visit www.lerchearly.com/team/jeffrey-van-grack.

Signage Posting Policies

By AtHomeNet

One or two signs here and there isn’t a big deal, but when you have hundreds of residents posting for-sale signs, signs promoting their businesses, signs about religion or politics, etc., it can become a nuisance fast. If you are sick of seeing signs all over your community, check out these four tips on creating a good signage posting policy.

Check the Governing Documents

Whenever you’re creating a policy, you need to check the Governing Documents first because you must follow them to the letter, and if your Governing Documents state anyone can post any sign they want in the common areas, you have to follow that policy or hold a vote to change the rule. If the Governing Documents don’t say anything specific to posting signs, the HOA has the right to control common areas, which may mean prohibiting signs completely.

Create a Place for Signs

Instead of prohibiting all signs, however, it may be better to just create a place for signs. This will keep residents happy because it gives them a place to post their fliers, but it also prevents the community from being overrun with signs. In one of the common areas, put up a bulletin board where residents can post their signs, but make sure they know posting signs anywhere else is not allowed.

Monitor the Signs

You’ll need someone to monitor the signs for two reasons. First, you’ll need someone to remove old signs to prevent a big, confusing mess of old and new signs. Second, and most importantly, you need someone to remove any inappropriate signs, such as signs with foul language, signs that bad-mouth other residents or signs that don’t follow the rules and regulations of the sign policy or the HOA policies in general.

Enforce the Rules Consistently

You’ll need to create rules for your signage policy, and whatever rules you choose, make sure to actually enforce them. Failing to do so can open a can of worms, and allow everyone the ability to post whatever they want. You also have to make sure to apply the rules equally to everyone. For example, if you decide to prohibit signs completely, but then you allow one person to post one sign, you’ll now have to allow every resident to post one sign.

Jeff and Susan Sanders started AtHomeNet in 1998, creating easy-to-use, multi-feature websites for homeowner communities and association management firms, condominium owner associations, and other community association organizations.

When Someone Asks You for a Reference

by Rebecca Knight

A colleague opens up to you and says that he’s interviewing for a new job. He asks you to be his reference. Should you say yes? And if you do, what can you say to a potential new employer to best convey the applicant’s skills and expertise?

What the Experts Say

Providing a reference for a worthy employee is not only kind, it’s a smart career move. It’s “good professional karma to pay it forward,” says Jodi Glickman, the speaker, author, and founder of the communication consulting firm, Great on the Job. “Most people who are successful in their careers had help along the way,” she says. “And they’re happy to help someone else coming up.” Priscilla Claman, the president of Career Strategies, a Boston-based consulting firm and a contributor to the HBR Guide to Getting the Right Job, agrees: “If you’ve got someone who’s worked hard for you, and you can’t promote him or he’s moving to Minneapolis, you should try to support him however you can.” Here’s how to handle a reference request—and what to actually say (or write) to a recruiter.

Decide whether you want to do it

The first step, of course, is determining whether you’ll give the reference. If the person was a star performer and dedicated colleague, then the answer may be obvious. But if his track record was spotty or worse, be careful. “You’re putting your reputation on the line,” Glickman says. “If you refer someone, and he doesn’t perform, you look bad.” You should also consider whether your company allows you to be a reference. Claman says that many companies forbid employees from giving job references to current or former colleagues, stipulating that reference checks go through HR. While this rule is perhaps the “most violated policy in the panoply of HR policies,” it’s smart to know what you are allowed and not allowed to do.

Be honest

Whatever you decide, be truthful with your colleague about what you’re willing to do and say. If you feel you really can’t serve as a reference, say so, says Glickman. She recommends declining this way. “Say, ‘I am not going to be able to give you a strong enough recommendation. You need someone who can really sing your praises.’” If your appraisal of the candidate’s abilities is mixed, Claman advises having a “conversation [with the applicant] about what exactly you might say” to a reference checker. Be candid, but diplomatic about the particulars. “Say, ‘I could give you a reference about how well you deal with customers, but I can’t give you a reference that includes your ability to stick to a budget.”


When you do agree to give a reference, ask the candidate for assistance. “If you don’t have enough information to speak off-the-cuff, or you worked with the person a long time ago, request an up-to-date résumé and then have her refresh your memory on her top accomplishments at your organization,” says Glickman. Savvy, smart candidates provide three references—often a mixture of former and current bosses, coworkers, and subordinates—that can speak to their different strengths. So ask the candidate what she’d like you to highlight, says Claman. Is it her rapport with customers? Her project management skills? Her technical chops? Also request information about the role she’s being considered for and why she wants the job. “Ask her, ‘Why is this the right next job for you?’”

If you’ve been asked for a written recommendation, which is still a prominent feature in some professions, such as teaching, as well as in graduate school applications, suggest that your colleague prepare a draft letter with all of the relevant information that you can then “edit as you see fit,” says Claman.

Use specific examples

Whether it’s a written recommendation or a telephone conversation, hiring managers are often interested in two key aspects of a candidate’s on-the-job performance. The first is behavioral, says Glickman. They want to know how the candidate relates to other colleagues, which is basically “a character reference.” The second aspect concerns his technical skills and expertise. “They want to know how he drove revenue by X%, or improved sales by X margin,” she says. In both cases, “be as specific as you can about the contributions” the candidate made to your organization, says Claman.

If the candidate is being considered for a job in which he doesn’t have direct experience, it can be tricky to come up with the right anecdotes. Describe the time when he picked up a new professional responsibility and what he achieved; talk about how he spearheaded a cross-functional project and the result he produced. The goal is for the hiring manager to infer competence. “Talk about specific and special circumstances—don’t be generic,” Claman says.

Be positive

“The level of enthusiasm you bring to the conversation and the superlatives you use to describe the candidate” should convey your opinion of the applicant’s abilities, says Glickman. “The highest praise you can give [in a reference check] is saying something like, ‘I would hire this person in a heartbeat. This is a person I want on my team.’” Sometimes reference checkers ask about a candidate’s weaknesses or press you to rank the candidate based on other employees. But you shouldn’t go there, says Claman. “Never give a negative reference—it’s far too fraught.” Trying to be funny or tongue-and-cheek is also ill advised. “Be careful about making a joke,” says Claman. “Things can so easily get blown out of proportion. Stick to the facts.”

Follow up

Many applicants are only vaguely aware of when and if their references are being checked and so it’s a thoughtful gesture to “let the candidate know you spoke to the hiring manager,” says Claman. Jobseekers are often hungry for information about their fate in the selection process and the very fact that you got a call “gives them a better sense of what’s going on and lets them know they’re a more serious candidate.” You needn’t provide a “blow-by-blow” of what was discussed, but if you are so inclined, candidates often appreciate it. “The candidate is responsible for letting you know if he got the job,” adds Glickman. But it doesn’t hurt to remind him of this. “Say, ‘Keep me posted.’ And then hope he does.”

Principles to Remember


  • Be honest about what you are and are not willing to say to the recruiter
  • Ask the candidate to refresh your memory about his top accomplishments and contributions if you haven’t worked together in awhile
  • Convey enthusiasm about your colleague and her ability to do the job well


  • Agree to provide a reference for someone you don’t believe in—remember: your reputation is on the line
  • Be vague—offer specific examples of the candidate’s abilities and strengths
  • Feel like you have to provide the candidate with a blow-by-blow account of what you discussed with the recruiter, but following up is a kind gesture

Rebecca Knight is a freelance journalist in Boston and a lecturer at Wesleyan University.  Her work has been published in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Financial Times.


In The News

Rep. Israel Renews Push to Make Condos, Co-ops, and Certain Common Interest Communities Eligible for Storm Recovery Grants

by RealEstateRama

Three years after Superstorm Sandy hit New York, Congressman Steve Israel (D –NY) renewed his push and announced legislation that would make co-ops, condo associations, and certain common interest communities eligible for the same vital assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) available to other homeowners. Currently, co-ops, condo associations, and common interest communities are only eligible to receive loans and not grants. Following Superstorm Sandy, Rep. Israel wrote a letter and urged FEMA to make co-op and condo associations eligible for storm recovery grants. Unfortunately, three years later many co-op, condo associations, and common interest communities are still in desperate need of repairs and deserve the same vital assistance that other homeowners are eligible for.

Rep. Israel said, “A storm does not discriminate where it hits, and FEMA should not be discriminating against what type of homeowners it helps. It is disgraceful that three years after Sandy devastated parts of Queens and Long Island, that New York co-ops, condos, and common interest communities still do not qualify for critical storm recovery grants. I will continue fighting for passage of legislation to allow co-op, condo associations, and common interest communities to apply for federal grants from FEMA so these homeowners are eligible to receive the vital assistance they deserve.”

“Three years after Hurricane Sandy, some co-op and condo housing properties are still struggling to recover. Damage from the storm placed staggering financial burdens upon the middle class families who reside in co-ops and condos. These co-op and condo communities must be eligible for federal FEMA grants when disaster strikes. For many families co-ops and condos represent affordable housing, but without the FEMA safety net, another storm could make them unaffordable,” said Warren Schreiber, President of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance, Inc., Bay Terrace Cooperative Section I, Inc. and Co-President of Presidents Co-op & Condo Council.

Co-ops are housing communities made up of individual apartment owners who help manage and maintain housing, common areas, and residential infrastructure. Housing co-ops exist in every neighborhood in New York City. FEMA classifies co-op associations, along with condos, as “businesses,” meaning they are eligible to apply for loans through the Small Business Administration, but not for FEMA grants. Currently, FEMA offers grants for recovery efforts through the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) as well as the Public Assistance (PA) Program.

Rep. Israel’s legislation would list co-op and condo associations as entities eligible to apply for assistance through FEMA’s Individual and Households Program (IHP). It would also add definitions for housing cooperative and condominium into the Stafford Act and expand the existing Stafford Act definition of Private Non-Profit Facility to include common interest communities, other than condominiums, that have common areas or own or operate facilities that provide services of a governmental nature, such as roads or bridges; therefore allowing them to apply for FEMA grants. The bill would also call for the rulemaking process to determine a new cap on IHP assistance for co-op and condo associations. Co-sponsors include Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Peter King (R-NY), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Grace Meng (D-NY), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), and Gregory Meeks (D-NY).

CMCA Practice Exam


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Make It Easier for Your Boss to Say Yes to Vacation

by Holly Weeks

In an office where overworking is a badge of honor — if not a competitive sport — a request for vacation can be daunting, even if vacation time is part of your compensation package. The worry is not so much the request itself, but feeling judged for making it. What if your manager makes it seem like you’re not a team player? Not quite as committed to your work as you could be? Not as ambitious as others are? And what if she says no?

To set the stage for a positive conversation, work out your manager’s perspective first. It is likely that your vacation request is one piece of a larger puzzle that has to fit together. Your boss has competing needs, like meeting incremental deadlines and coordinating your time and your colleagues’ time simultaneously. She may be dealing with issues of precedence, such as a longer-term employee who has asked for vacation time that overlaps incompatibly with yours. In fact, she may be juggling multiple out-of-office requests, not just for vacations, but for professional development, conferences, and trade shows, too. Taking her perspective into account helps you plan a request that’s easier for her to grant.

For example, if you work with a team, ask your manager well in advance whether it’s easier for her to schedule vacation after a big deadline is met — which may seem obvious, but some deadlines are moving targets or are just plain fictional — or to stagger vacations, or to try to combine multi-party time off. This isn’t to say that your preference and your manager’s will match perfectly, but she will know that you are trying to be accommodating and she’ll appreciate not being taken by surprise.

Here’s how not to ask for vacation time: A woman who worked in a research office had waived enough vacation time to accrue four weeks’ worth in order to travel abroad for a long-planned family wedding. In her mind, this was fair; she had earned the vacation, which was strictly true. Her strategy was that by accruing the time quietly, she would be bulletproof when she told her manager, because, by the letter of the law, it was hers to take. But the fact that she kept quiet and then took her manager by surprise made it clear that she also knew the request would be unwelcome: it came at the worst time of year for the office, and such an extended vacation was utterly atypical in the organization. (Her family, however, would hear of nothing less.) Her manager was more than angry and indignant; she felt undermined and manipulated. In fact, the manager discussed the situation with her own senior managers and denied the request. Angry and upset herself, the staff member went anyway. And she did not return to the organization. It was a lose-lose situation all around.

vacastress_introIf you want a better outcome for a difficult vacation request, factor the rhythm of your work and customary vacation patterns into your strategy. If your own request is unusual, approach your manager with more openness than the staff member above did. Think less about how you justify your request to yourself and more about how it will appear to your manager and co-workers. Is your request problematic? If it might be, start by saying, “Let’s talk about any burden this creates, and what we’ll do about it,” with the emphasis on “what we’ll do about it.” Set the tone around how we can make this work out. You may be surprised by the amount of creative problem-solving you and a manager can bring to bear. Or maybe you won’t be surprised — it’s what your organization does most of the time with the conflicts of interest it faces.

Speak pro-actively about how your usual responsibilities will be handled in your absence: “My assistant is ready to spread his wings, the client knows and likes him, and one of my peers has agreed to backstop him while I’m gone.”

If it works for your family or others participating in your vacation, create an A plan and a B plan with a difference, for example, between length of vacation and particular dates, in order to give your manager some options. You might say, “My family is looking at two options to coordinate at my spouse’s firm and here in our company.” Your A plan might be two consecutive weeks, but maybe you’re willing to avoid the 4th of July. Your B plan may be three days off, including the 4th of July, and a week off during the kids’ winter break. This strategic how-can-we-make-it-work approach takes some planning even before you make your vacation request, but it improves the tone and content of the conversation so much that it’s worth it.

And this approach has another benefit — it protects you from stumbling into much weaker ways of making your request, like expressing guilt or apologizing over asking for a vacation at all, and talking yourself and your manager out of your own request even as you make it. It’s also worth noting that it does not help your working relationship with your manager to overshare details about how difficult it is to coordinate vacation schedules in the family, or how badly your spouse needs time off. Not because your manager doesn’t care about you and your loved ones, but simply because your manager’s task is a different one: to coordinate the players and the functions of the office. It is not wrong to take a manager who is your friend into your confidence, but at the point of making your vacation request, both of you may be better served if you realize that the best way to make an argument to your manager for time off is to give your manager a very good argument to use on your behalf if she needs to make your case to her own manager.

If you work where people don’t take their vacations, requesting one may raise an eyebrow. If it’s part of your compensation and you want to take it, be ready to speak positively about it, and frame it in terms your company values. You may find yourself spearheading a change.

The language you use may be less about the vacation itself and more about its results. You may want to talk about refreshing your mind, or opening up your thinking, changing your perspective, incubating some embryonic ideas, or letting some solutions percolate. You may want to be proactive, saying, “I never want to get in a rut. I don’t want to find myself working on auto-pilot.” There are, after all, organizations that encourage, if not require, vacation-taking for reasons like these.

Taking time away from the workplace is the flip side of taking a business trip away from friends, family, and home. If you talk through how to make it workable and comfortable for both sides, and plan how to minimize problems that might crop up while you’re away, it won’t be a case of attending to one side at the expense of the other, as it shouldn’t be. In fact, what you’ll really notice is that it’s great to be valuable, and to be missed.

Stay Current with Smartbrief!

Have you signed up for Community Association Management SmartBrief yet? CAMICB provides a free, weekly e-mail newsbrief specifically designed for community association managers. Sign up here.

smartbriefThis complimentary resource is aimed at bringing you a quick, two-minute read that will help you keep up-to-date with the latest news and trends in our profession. SmartBrief will provide short summaries of the news articles that will be of interest to you as a community association manager. We know it will save you time, keep you informed and add to your success. I hope you will subscribe.

Here’s what you missed this week:

Bipartisan House coalition protests lessened government role in condo financing A bipartisan group of 56 members of the House of Representatives has filed a protest regarding the lessened role of the federal government in the financing of condominium purchases. The Federal Housing Administration has set many restrictions on financing that have deprived would-be purchasers from selecting one of “the most affordable home­ owner­ship options for first-time buyers, small families, urban and older Americans,” said the letter, which was addressed to Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro. Boston Herald (11/1)

N.J. state senator introduces HOA transparency bill New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean has introduced legislation that would require more transparency from HOAs in the state. If the bill passes, the Association Homeowners Protection Act of 2015 would make it mandatory for HOAs in New Jersey to provide its members with certain key information: copies of current insurance policies within a timely manner, a 24-hour emergency phone number, the most up-to-date budget information and board member contact information. WKXW-FM (Trenton, N.J.) (10/27)

Report: Fewer borrowers with high credit scores are refinancing Fewer borrowers with high credit scores are refinancing their homes, according to a report from Black Knight Financial Services. However, the change is likely because of previous refinancing by such borrowers. Meanwhile, origination volumes for buyers with lower credit scores have remained mostly unchanged. HousingWire (11/2)

In The News: Airbnb Follow-up

In a major victory for one of the world’s most valuable startups, San Franciscans voted Tuesday against further regulating Airbnb and other short-term rental services.

Proposition F, which voters rejected 55 to 45, would have placed stronger restrictions on short-term rentals in the city to limit home-sharing’s impact on skyrocketing housing prices. The vote was the latest skirmish in the ongoing battle between San Francisco’s booming tech industry and residents concerned about gentrification’s squeeze on middle- and working-class families.

Currently, short-term rental units in San Francisco can only be rented out 90 days a year, unless hosts are also living in the unit during that period. Under Prop F, these rentals would have been further limited to 75 days a year, whether a host was present or not.

The measure also sought to allow any “interested parties,” including anyone living within 100 feet of the rental unit, to sue policy violators, and would have required hosts to notify their neighbors by mail of their intention to rent a unit. Hosts would have also been required to submit quarterly reports about their rentals to the city. In addition, Prop F would have outlawed the short-term rental of in-law units, would have required tenants to notify their landlords before subletting a room or unit to tourists, and would have made it a misdemeanor for online platforms, such as Airbnb and VRBO, to list properties that have not met those standards.

Airbnb, which is valued at over $25 billion, poured $8 million into fighting the ballot measure. The campaign sent out mailers, aired TV spots featuring California’s Democratic lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, and organized 400 workers to knock on doors across the city. While Prop F’s effect on Airbnb’s bottom line would have likely been negligible, the company worried that the proposition’s passage in its hometown would set a precedent across the country, as other U.S. cities consider adopting similar proposals.

“Tonight, in a decisive victory for the middle class, voters stood up for working families’ right to share their homes and opposed an extreme, hotel industry-backed measure,” Airbnb said in a statement. “This victory was made possible by the 138,000 members of the Airbnb community who had conversations with over 105,000 voters and knocked on 285,000 doors. The effort showed that home sharing is both a community and a movement.”

Proponents of Prop F argued that the measure would prevent San Francisco’s housing shortage from getting worse by limiting the number of homes that could be turned into pseudo-hotels and reducing landlords’ incentive to evict longtime residents in order to convert units into profitable short-term rentals. Airbnb, meanwhile, argued that the company helps individuals afford their pricey rents and mortgages by letting them make money off a spare room.

The Prop F vote came about a year after San Francisco imposed limits on how many days a year individuals could rent out rooms or their homes, and required companies like Airbnb to collect hotel taxes. Prop F’s backers said these restrictions were weak and full of loopholes, while Airbnb argued that the city had not allowed enough time to let the regulations go into effect.

The largest donor to the Prop F campaign was Unite Here, a union that represents hotel workers. The measure also had strong financial backing from the San Francisco Apartment Association, which represents rental property owners. Politicians like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos endorsed the proposal, while tech-friendly San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee opposed it.

Prop F was just one of several San Francisco ballot measures aimed at fixing the city’s housing crisis. Wealth has poured into the Bay Area as the tech industry has flourished over the past few years, causing housing prices and the eviction rate to surge. The city has struggled to meet the demand for affordable housing as some residents are forced to leave the city altogether