Who controls CAI and its 50 state HOA lobbying committees?

CAI recently announced a record membership of some 31,000 members. But what does that mean?  Just what is the composition of its membership between attorneys, managers  and management firms, individual “volunteers” from HOAs, and others?  Is the composition of CAI’s governing body  similar to that of its membership?

CAI membership facts (CAI Industry Data)

Estimated percent members from different HOAs:                                  9.8%

Estimated percent members who are individual HOA members:          5.9%

Estimated percent individual members to  people in an HOA:                 .6%

In comparison: Estimated AARP percentage membership:                  36.0%

Estimated members who are individuals in a distinct HOA:                 18,600

CAI’s latest “Industry Data” shows 314,000 HOAs in America, making its membership some 9.8% of HOAs. Just about what it was back in 2006 when I did a similar analysis. BUT, and a big but, is it really 9.8%? Only if all members came from a different HOA and all members live in an HOA. For instance, do all lawyers and managers live in an HOA? Not revealed by CAI.

Before CAI reacted to my revelations in 2006 and “circled its wagons,” I was able to determine that “individual volunteers” amounted to some 55% – 60% of its membership, which was 26,000 strong. And that was after dropping HOAs per se as members and allowing for this new category. Discounts were allowed for multiple members from the same HOA. It is assumed by this offer that it is the HOA itself that is paying for these “volunteers.” (Prior to this change in membership, CAI advertised some 16,000 members).

 Looking at the ratios again, CAI could have members in at most only 5.9% different HOAs (.6 x 31,000 / 314,000). About the same as in 2006. Yet, its lobbyists like to say before the media and legislative committees that there are 10,000 or 4,000 HOAs in this state without indicating their “at best” membership size.

 Taking the CAI “people” figure of 62.3 million residents, that means CAI “represents” a meager .6% – that’s .006 – of the people living in HOAs.  In contrast, 2010 AARP states membership of 35,700,000, and that’s  36% of the 50 plus population based on the US Census  estimate.

CAI Governing body (CAI Governance, 2012)

Estimated percent individual representation on CAI Board:                         14%

Estimated percent individual members:                                                          60%

CAI is governed by a 14 person Board of Trustees, not to be confused with its “three Membership Representation Groups (MRGs), elected members who give their constituencies a voice in crafting CAI policy and work to ensure that CAI continues to provide services and benefits that members need and value.” (My emphasis). They are: Association of Professional Community Managers (APCM) Board, Business Partners Council, and Community Association Volunteers Committee, none of which can be accessed by the public.

 However, from a CAI recent press release, the14 member Board of Trustees consists of:

*  CAI’s president and president-elect are elected by members of the Board of Trustees.

* Four at-large members are appointed by a board-selected Nominating Committee (“at large” members), and

* eight members are appointed by CAI’s three membership representation groups:

* four by APCM Board members (managers), and

* two each by the CAVC (“volunteers”) and BPC (service providers).

Note that no attorneys are listed, but the BoT in 2006 showed 4 attorneys as members. The 2012 composition is the same:

President/president-elect – 2 managers

Trustees – 6 managers

4 attorneys (including Scott Carpenter)

2 “volunteers”

That’s about 14% representation by homeowners on the CAI governing body whose membership consists of 60% homeowner “volunteers.”

 Surely CAI is NOT an association representing HOAs or even homeowners, but representing the business interested vendors serving HOAs.

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Published in: on March 11, 2012 at 11:46 am  Comments (3)  
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  1. […] 2006, and followed up in 2012, I published the following analysis of CAI’s membership. In Who controls CAI and its 50 state HOA lobbying committees? I used census and CAI data to show that only 5.9% of HOAs are CAI members, based on all […]

  2. In an April 2005 interview with Shu Bartholomew of “On The Commons”, C.A.I. co-founder and past-president Lincoln Cummings was asked if he lives in a homeowner association.

    http://onthecommons.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=114&Itemid=67

    This is about 50 minutes 20 seconds into the audio file at http://onthecommons.us/images/stories/shows/20050409cummings.mp3 ( 9 MB )

    He responded that he owns 3 properties in H.O.A.s, but doesn’t live in one himself.

  3. And do all members of an H.O.A. live in an H.O.A. themselves?

    In mine, the two senior board members are non-resident investor owners (as am I since I moved out a few years ago).

    Since there is no way to (1) determine if a given address is governed by an H.O.A. and (2) the boundaries of existing HOAs, it is practically impossible to know if they live in an H.O.A. themselves.

    Given what I know of the neighborhoods they live (one of which I grew up in), I suspect their residences are not governed by an H.O.A.


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