Community association board members, managers, and business partners have been working tirelessly to support their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. They have acted quickly and sensibly to establish remote meetings, close common areas and amenities, share information, and connect neighbors who need help. The economic impact of COVID-19 will take months to discern.

Community Associations Institute (CAI) conducted three surveys in late March and late April to document the steps community associations took and begin to measure the short- and long-term economic implications on employment, budgets, assessments, and more.

Some highlights of the findings include:

  • An overwhelming majority of community managers reported no change in their employment status.
  • Less than 10% of community association management companies reported furloughing or laying off community managers, but almost one-third reported being forced to furlough or lay off other employees.
  • Community association volunteers reported almost no change in their assessment delinquency rate between February and April.
  • The vast majority of community association volunteers expressed confidence in their current budget.

CAI will survey members monthly in the coming months to gather information about assessment delinquency rates as the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold.

While the factors are different today from those of the Great Recession, history may help us predict today’s financial impact on communities.

In 2011, in the midst of the Great Recession, CAI surveyed community associations to determine the impact on assessment delinquencies.

  • 46% of respondents characterized the impact on associations related to assessment delinquencies and property values to be “serious.”
  • More than one-third of the community associations that responded had a delinquency rate of greater than 11%.*

In 2014, only 7% of respondents indicated they had a delinquency rate of greater than 11%.

*Note: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA will not secure/insure mortgages in communities with greater than 10% delinquency

Community association managers and board members responding to a separate CAI poll in late March said they took the following steps (among others):

  • 80% closed common areas and amenities or postponed nonessential meetings and events.
  • 68% encouraged social distancing in shared spaces, such as elevators and laundry facilities.
  • 67% held board meetings through video or teleconference.
  • 65% kept residents informed with updates from the community and local, state, and federal officials.
  • 62% instructed extensive cleaning/disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces.

More difficult decisions lie ahead, particularly regarding budgets and assessments. CAI will continue to compile relevant data.  In the meantime, click here to access the full content of the CAI COVID19  Economic Impact Survey.

For COVID-19 resources for community associations, visit www.caionline.org/Coronavirus.aspx.

Dawn Bauman, CAE

Dawn Bauman, CAE

Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs

Executive Director, Foundation for Community Association Research

Full Bio

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