National Research Sheds Light on Community Association Success

Jul 11, 2012, 16:30 ET from Community Associations Institute

FALLS CHURCH, Va., July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Seventy percent of the more than 62 million Americans who live in homeowners associations and condominiums say they are satisfied in their communities—an approval rating that would make President Obama and Mitt Romney green with envy.

More importantly, only 8 percent of association residents express dissatisfaction, according to a recent national survey conducted by Ibope Zogby International.

"A 70 percent satisfaction rate is exceptional in today's often-contentious environment," says Tom Skiba, CAE, chief executive officer of Community Associations Institute (CAI), an international, nonprofit membership organization that provides education and resources to association-governed communities.

Skiba says discontent in associations can be caused by a number of factors, including unreasonable association boards, residents who disregard rules they have agreed to follow and difficult financial circumstances, which have become especially critical for many homeowners and associations during the housing and economic downturn.

"Any number of unsatisfied homeowners is too many, and that's a challenge to every community association board," says Skiba. "But the challenges cut both ways.  Just as there are some poorly governed communities, many associations must contend with very difficult and intransigent residents, including some owners who refuse to follow established rules or pay their fair share for utilities, services and amenities provided by the association."

Although some discontent is related to paying community association assessments, the vast majority—eight in 10 homeowners—say they get a "good" or "great" return for their money. "How many Americans would say that about their taxes?" asks Skiba.

Other survey findings:

  • 88 percent of residents say association board members strive to serve the best interests of the community.
  • 73 percent say community managers provide value and support to associations.
  • 76 percent say their association rules "protect and enhance" property values. Only 3 percent say the reverse is true.

"The vast majority of people who govern and manage associations are working diligently to build strong and stable communities, and their residents appreciate and value their efforts," says Skiba. "They're succeeding without fanfare. That's why we don't hear about them."

The survey was sponsored by the Foundation for Community Association Research, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to community association research and scholarship. A free brochure summarizing the findings can be downloaded at

With 32,000 members and almost 60 chapters across the country, CAI provides education and resources to the homeowner volunteer leaders and professionals involved in the governance and management of associations.

SOURCE Community Associations Institute