Community Associations Institute

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Logo of the Community Associations Institute.

The Community Associations Institute (CAI) is an international influential trade association and special interest group headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, with more than 60 chapters in the United States[1] that provides "education and resources to the volunteer homeowners who govern community associations", and petitions for legislative and regulatory beneficence for its members.[2]

Since CAI was founded in 1973, the people that build and service common interest developments (CIDs) have been a significant force in interest group politics in many states. According to Evan McKenzie they are dominated by lawyers and property managers that have shaped legislative and judicial policy making to prevent meaningful regulation of CID activity,[3] and keep the discourse on such matters largely private.[4]

In the absence of meaningful legislative regulation or oversight, the idea of residential private government took the shape advocated originally by developers through the Urban Land Institute and the Federal Housing Administration, and later by lawyers and property managers through CAI.[5]

Over the decades, CAI has worked diligently and effectively to address concerns raised about the industry by critics such as professor McKenzie. Board and Manager training classes and national certifications for core competency have been developed. Over the last 20 years in particular, led initially by Community Managers Bill Overton and Rob Felix , the Institute has shifted its primary focus from tasks related to asset management to process that "Builds Community" and delivers positive customer service. Dr McKenzie has been invited to participate in dialogue on this philosophy shift, and has done so on more than one occasion.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ McKenzie, Evan. Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Governments. Yale University Press. p. 119. ISBN 0-300-06638-4.
  3. ^ McKenzie, Privatopia, 27.
  4. ^ Privatopia, 26.
  5. ^ Privatopia, 121.