Homeowners associations are on the rise in the United States, but there are many misconceptions about what an HOA is, why they were created and how homeowners benefit from living in one. Read on for the history of HOAs and the latest facts and figures across the country.
Homeowners associations have a long history in the United States, dating all the way back to the mid-19th century. However, many experts point to the Clean Water Act of 1977 as a catalyst for the rapid growth of HOAs around the country that continues today.
The Clean Water Act was originally passed in 1972 in an effort to overhaul water quality standards at the federal level. The brand new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was tasked with implementing and enforcing measures to reduce water pollution, a responsibility that had previously been left to the states and was often neglected.
In 1977, an amendment to the Clean Water Act required all new real estate developments to detain stormwater so that flow to adjoining properties was no greater than the pre-development runoff. This meant residential neighborhoods had to include detention areas to hold excess stormwater. These detention ponds often served multiple homes at once, making them a shared common area. Thus, developers had reason to establish an HOA to maintain the shared space. Since then, the scope of an association has expanded to include the management of things such as landscaping and other maintenance responsibilities.
Did You Know ... ?
An estimated 68 million Americans lived in homeowners associations in 2016, which accounts for 21 percent of the U.S. population. More than 338,000 neighborhoods are governed by associations, helping to preserve property values and maintain the appearance and safety of communities across the country. And despite parking issues and pet problems, the majority of Americans (87%) are happy to live in an HOA community.
Click the image below for a full report on HOA satisfaction from the Community Associations Institute.
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