A Brief History of Homeowners’ Associations

A Brief History of Homeowners’ Associations

Group of people smiling "History of HOA's"

If you own property in the United States, chances are you have considered buying a home that belongs to a Homeowners’ Association (HOA).  

HOAs sometimes get a bad rap in movies and other forms of media, but the reality is HOAs provide much-needed benefits to the communities they manage.  

In the United States, 70 million residents live under the jurisdiction of an HOA. Additionally, over 5,000 new HOAs are formed yearly.  

In this article, we will go over the history of HOAs and explain how they developed over time.  

The First HOAs 

The first association which we would today recognize as an HOA appeared in the late 1940s. Called a planned community, this HOA was developed in Levittown, NY on Long Island.  

The purpose of this first HOA was to offer veterans low-interest housing and, to establish their livelihoods. While there was no elected governing body in Levittown, there were rules and regulations that residents needed to live by to suit the needs of all other residents.  

While the community in Levittown was the first community we would today recognize as an HOA, homeowners’ unions have existed in the US as far back as the early 1900s in California. These proto-HOAs were originally designed to keep people of unwanted social classes from purchasing property in affluent neighborhoods.  

These early associations in no way affect the HOAs of today which instead are focused on giving every resident equal opportunity rather than focusing on the exclusion of lower social classes.  

Any such social discrimination was made illegal in the US by the 1948 Supreme Court case Shelley vs Kraemer. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 eliminated any residual discrimination that slipped through the cracks of the 1948 Supreme Court case.  

Modern HOAs 

Since 1968, the first true HOAs began to develop.  

Throughout the 1960s, the federal government encouraged more residential developments outside of cities. As a result, many families moved from cities to suburban areas.  

Developers began to increase the land density of homes on each piece of land, leading to homes being built closer together.  

Because of this, many shared green spaces began to develop that was used by many families. Soon, recreation halls and community centers began to spring up as well.  

The first modern HOAs were formed to manage these spaces. These HOAs were focused on inclusion and equal opportunity. They ensured that each family who lived near these common spaces had equal access and that all amenities were clean and in pristine condition.  

Soon after, HOAs began to act as small local governments. They handled tasks that pertained to the livelihood of residents that were before handled by municipal workers.  

By the 1970s, HOAs were thriving, and their popularity has been on the rise ever since.  

HOAs are Rising in Popularity 

Many families appreciate an established HOA as it provides a well-maintained neighborhood that is based on fair rules and order. Their HOA protects them from dealing with the mess and noise that non-HOA neighborhoods are all too accustomed to. 

Because HOAs give homeowners a voice in how their neighborhood is managed, many newly built homes and communities are governed by HOAs.  

HOAs have been surging in popularity since the 1970s and they show no sign of slowing down.  

While HOAs are very popular, there are HOAs that are managed better than others. If you want the best property management team in the Cincinnati area, look for a home managed by Management Plus. Management Plus puts the community first to ensure that neighborhoods suit the needs of every resident.