Planned Communities: A Quick History of the players

How did planned communites come to pervade the American landscape over the past 40 years? Who helped form and promote them?

Urban Land Institute (ULI), formed back in the 1936 (originally named the National Real Estate Foundation) by the National Association of Real Estate Boards (now the Nat’l Assn of Realtors) . It’s a nonprofit organization pushing land usage and planning. They are not a political science or government organization, which explains the lack of meaningful public governance concerns within these associations. Reading its joint book with CAI, Community Associations, it clearly states their profit motive and the need for mandatory membership with compulsory dues in order to make planned communities work.

ULI published the original concepts and framework for planned communites in its FHA funded, The Homes Association Handbook in 1966. In 1973, FHA, ULI and the National Association of Home Builders formed CAI because of problems encountered in trying to sell this concept to American home buyers. With growing complaints and published research by political scientists during the early 1990s, CAI revised its objectives and became a business trade organization with the goal of protecting this legal scheme or plan by heavily engaging in lobbying in almost every state legislature.


Donald R. Stabile, Community Associations: The Emergence and Acceptance of a Quiet Innovation in Housing (Greenwood Press 2000)

Evan McKenzie, Privatopia: Homeowners Asociations and the Rise of Private Residential Governments (Yale University Press 1994)

Robert J. Dilger, Neighborhood Politics: Residential Community Associations in American Governance (New York University Press 1992)

Published in: on May 20, 2005 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

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