CAI White papers — read these and pay close attention!

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

(orignally posted on Neighbors at War)

Community Associations Institute (CAI) just released 4 White Papers, Community Next: 2020 and Beyond. The reports are a product of 4 separate hand-chosen panels. For the most part, CAI’s talking points rehash the same old mission. In CAI’s words:

CAI and its chapters—will always be focused on maintaining and improving property values and making communities preferred places to call home. That means collecting assessments, enforcing rules and restrictions, providing quality leadership and more—no matter what external forces influence associations.

Nothing new there. But there are a few new elements to CAI’s political agenda.

Take, for example, the “External Influences Panel Report

Here’s an excerpt:

Influential Stakeholders and Organizations
Association leaders also will need to work closely with influential
stakeholders and organizations, such as developers, real estate agents
and mortgage lenders. The National Association of Homebuilders,
National Association of Realtors and American Bankers Association
exert an incredible amount of influence over development, sales and
mortgage lending for homes in community associations. AARP, with its
large and active membership and powerful voice, also impacts the
success of associations. CAI will need to engage these organizations
to ensure common-interest communities continue to be considered
preferred places to call home.

In my opinion we do NOT want CAI strengthening its ties to NAHB and
NAR and mortgage lenders, nor aligning itself with AARP!

This white paper (and three others) written by CAI, I believe, is partially a matter of damage control. CAI acknowledges negative public perceptions of Association Governed Developments (HOAs), even though they are not yet willing to admit that their grand utopian community model is plagued by fundamental flaws.

But it’s becoming clear that NAHB is less interested in building new condominiums (except for luxury condos) and is making its case for suburban rather than urban development. That’s clear from NAHB’s recent surveys and news releases. Developers’ agendas are not the same as CAI’s. They want to sell homes and avoid liabilities and litigious environments. They distrust owner-controlled associations, with good reason.

Mortgage lenders are rip-roaring mad about the priority lien debacle in many states, and they are becoming more skeptical when it comes to underwriting mortgages – especially for association-governed multifamily housing — concerned about assessment delinquencies and other financial risks.

We just recently purchased a single family home (no HOA), with a 15-yr fixed, 20% down mortgage from a major financial institution. Very low risk for the lender. The mortgage includes several key provisions and clauses to protect the lender’s interest when a home is governed by an owner’s association – such as reserving the right to require HOA assessments to be collected in escrow. It doesn’t apply in our case, but it was enlightening to see
this language inserted in the mortgage.

We even had to sign an affidavit that said our home purchase is for a primary residence.

I believe most Realtors are still relatively uneducated about Association Governed developments. In my new home state, real estate agents that seem to be “in the know” happen to own land and/or property that they develop into some sort of HOA! Others ally themselves with HOA developers and serve as exclusive agents for those developers. The rest have minimal knowledge about HOAs, Condo Associations, and spew CAI’s usual talking points about property values and maintenance-free lifestyle benefits.

This must change.

But the most disturbing part of this white paper is that CAI is targeting AARP – a consumer organization – as an “influential stakeholder” and positioning itself as a consumer protection group. That is downright sleazy, dishonest, and completely outrageous.

CAI is a trade group interested mainly in improving its professional reputation and enhancing business opportunities for its members. In their own words, CAI’s leaders cling to their core mission of “improving property values” and “enforcing rules and restrictions.” There is no mention of improving social values, enhancing quality of life, or creating a true sense of community. None of those values can be measured in dollars. Bottom line, CAI is not working for the Greater Good.



2 thoughts on “CAI White papers — read these and pay close attention!

  1. Donna Simpson Kayden May 8, 2016 — 12:23 pm

    So very well said, both of these groups do not represent the homeowner and never have or will they ever. Just look at what these groups did in Florida got the enter Senate to vote down any type of HOA Reform in 2016 instead of reform for the good of homeowners who live in any HOA. Whose interest are they more concern with are their own as in HOA Attorneys, Management Companies, Developers/Homebuilder and of course the Real Estate Sells Companies some of which are State Representatives & Senators in Tallahassee and who openly state they sell homes for the developer or are investors in the rental business. No these groups do not care about the homeowners and any State Representatives or Senators who a line themselves with these groups are rotten and corrupted to the core. With election coming up this year, lets vote these people out of office we need to in order for true HOA Reform to have a chance to really protect the homeowners interest for once in the State Of Florida.

  2. Same old lies from the hand picked “community volunteers” no wonder there is s political revolution among the middle class previously known as the “stupid smocks”

    On Sunday, May 8, 2016, Independent American Communities wrote:

    > deborahgoonan posted: “By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities > (orignally posted on Neighbors at War) Community Associations Institute > (CAI) just released 4 White Papers, Community Next: 2020 and Beyond. The > reports are a product of 4 separate hand-chosen pane” >

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