The Realtor association and HOA-Land

The RA-CAI-RE Triangle, Part 1

(I use the following notation in this series.  “RA” is the collection of the national and state chartered Realtor associations.  “CAI” is the Community Associations Institute.  “RE” is the collection of state real estate departments.  Specific organizations will be identified as such.)

The very powerful National Association of Realtors (NAR) played an important role in the development of HOAs when it split off its research function to form ULI (Urban Land Institute) in 1936.  ULI then spent a lot of time and energy over the years resulting in the publication of the HOA-Land “bible,” The Homes Association Handbook in 1964.

According to Ron Stabile, author of the 2000 self-congratulatory book paid for by ULI and CAI (emphasis added),

The innovators of CAs were entrepreneurs . . .. The dilemma [as far back as the 1930s] was how to ensure their widespread acceptance among government agencies, builders and developers, and prospective home buyers.[1]

Furthermore, parallel to ULI’s activities, the FHA set up its own land planning and usage division in 1938. NAREB (National Association of Real Estate Boards, now NAR) ‘had a large influence on the formation of FHA.’ In 1963, Byron Hanke, an FHA employee on loan from FHA, was the Handbook’s Study Director and Land Planner.  (He later became the primary founder and promoter for the creation of CAI in 1973.)

In 2016, CAI released its White Paper,[2] or as I call it, the CAI Manifesto.[3]  These papers contain, among other things, CAI’s attempts to influence other dominant organizations like AARP and NAR (National Assoc. of Realtors).[4] Furthermore, CAI calls for not only influencing legislatures, but the judges, too.[5]

For the most part the Arizona Realtor trade group (AAR) has been low-key, but active behind the scenes.  In 2013, Rep. Ugenti boasted to the AZ GOV committee, stating (emphasis added).

[W]orking through a stakeholder process and allowing the stakeholder process to filter the proposed legislation   . . . representing a consensus from the AZ realtors, and AACM (AZ Association of Community Managers, the beneficiary of this bill).[6]

This bill granted unlicensed HOA property managers the right to represent HOA in small claims court, a right not enjoyed by certified paralegals, known as a AZ Certified Legal Document Preparers. AAR supported this bill. Homeowners were not included as part of the “stakeholder” group in this back-office meeting. “Stakeholder” as commandeered by the pro-HOA forces means the special interest vendors feeding off the HOA consumers.

How else has AAR been working behind the scenes?



[1] Community Associations: The Emergence and Acceptance of a Quiet Innovation in Housing, p. 68, Donald R. Stabile (Greenwood Press 2000).

[2] See Community Next: 2020 and Beyond (May 5, 2016).

[3] CAI manifesto: CAI’s plan for HOA-Land in America.  “A manifesto is a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization.”  “A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body’s philosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.”

[4] Supra n. 2, p 4-5.

[5] Supra n. 2, p. 13-14.

[6] See my Commentary, AZ HB 2371 allows unlicensed managers to represent HOAs in disputes.

Published in: on September 29, 2017 at 3:52 pm  Comments (1)  

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