Concerted efforts by a group of industry professionals are about to bear fruit, as a Big Apple Chapter nears certification by the international Community Associations Institute (CAI). The new chapter—representing condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners associations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island—has been two years in the making, working under the heading of “in-organization” to meet CAI’s certification requirements. But the tipping point is now at hand.
CAI is a national organization dedicated to fostering vibrant, competent, harmonious community associations. Members include community association volunteer leaders, professional managers, and other professionals and companies that provide products and services to associations.
A Nationwide Resource
Over the past four decades, the non-profit CAI has grown to encompass over 33,500 members in more than 60 chapters, providing education, tools, and resources to the homeowner volunteers who govern associations and the professionals who support them. While often viewed as a national organization, the Virginia-based CAI also has a chapter in South Africa, and works with housing partners in Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
CAI also introduces and advocates for HOA-friendly legislation. “Whether the issue is waste water and ecosystem management, energy efficiency standards for multi-story residential buildings, federal disaster assistance, or how the U.S. mail is delivered, federal policy makers must ensure that national policies account for the community association model of housing,” the organization notes on its website. On the local level, CAI chapter Legislative Action Committees (LACs) follow, speak out on—and sometimes sponsor—state legislation that may impact community associations. In addition to legislative and regulatory advocacy, CAI's government and public affairs efforts also extend to the legal arena. Most of CAI's legal activities involve amicus curiae, or “friend of the court” briefs, that CAI files in federal or state cases that address issues of significant importance in community association law.
Despite CAI’s broad geographic reach and depth of activity on behalf of community associations, the New York boroughs have never been home to the organization, although there are chapters on Long Island, the Hudson Valley and in Western New York.