2012 Statistical Review

The Foundation for Community Association Research has released 2012 National and State data. Here are some of the highlights:

Four Reasons for the Growth of Community Associations

The Value of Collective Management. Americans largely have accepted the collective management structure of community association living. Similar restrictions often exist in rental apartment lease agreements and in zoning laws and building codes that govern traditional single-family, detached housing. In traditional housing, however, such restrictions are adopted and administered by public bodies rather than by association boards composed of homeowners who are elected by their neighbors to govern communities.

Privatizing Public Functions. Because of the fiscal challenges faced by many local municipalities, communities are often created with the stipulation that the developer will create an association that will assume many responsibilities that traditionally belonged to local and state government (e.g., road maintenance, snow removal, trash pickup and storm water management). This privatization allows local jurisdictions to permit the continued development of needed housing without having to pay directly for that infrastructure through property taxes.

Expanding Affordable Homeownership. There has been a persistent effort to increase the percentage of homeowners in America. Almost from their inception in the 1960s, condominiums have tended to serve as lower-cost entry housing, especially for first-time buyers. This was especially true of early condominium conversions in which apartment buildings were refurbished into condominiums. In today’s economic climate, achieving affordability is a perpetual challenge. Without the construction and operating efficiencies inherent in association development and operations, fewer Americans would be able to purchase homes.

Minimizing Social Costs and Fostering Market Efficiencies. Community associations not only maintain home values, but also reduce the need for government oversight and expenditures by providing services, assigning payment responsibility to homeowners and being responsive to local concerns.

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