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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article surveys what has been a leading development for American housing and local governance of the past half century: the meteoric rise of community associations. These quasi-government organizations usually are created by land developers and, as the new communities are developed, they evolve into self-governing entities owned by the homeowners and provide an extensive array of local services. In 2010 there were more than three hundred thousand community associations, which housed more than 60 million Americans, or 20 percent of the US population. (This is in contrast to the approximately ninety thousand local governments in the United States.) The growth of these associations has been rapid: between 1980 and 2000, half of the new housing in the United States was built and organized under the private governance of a community association. Most of that growth occurred in the sunny and sandy regions of the West and the South.

Keywords: community associations, self-governing entities, local services, local governments, new housing, private governance

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