The vast majority of community association board members express confidence in their current budget, but half expect their assessment delinquencies to increase going forward, according to a survey conducted by CAI in late April.

Nearly 40% of association board members are “confident” their community’s budget will be fully funded as adopted through the end of the current budget year, and another 36% are “very confident.”

CAI fielded the survey of more than 600 community association volunteers across the country to gauge the early financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on homeowners associations, condominium communities, and housing cooperatives. One-third of respondents reported reducing expenses out of concern for future revenue, and nearly 50% expect assessment delinquencies will increase in 2020.

 

Additionally, more than 90% of community association homeowners are current paying their assessments—roughly the same percentage as late February, according to the survey.

However, communities are seeing an increase in homeowner requests for assessment payment plans or forbearance as a result of the pandemic; roughly 20% of respondents reported that they’ve noticed an uptick.

 

Community associations acted quickly and sensibly to protect and support residents when COVID-19 began to spread across the U.S., establishing remote meetings, closing common areas and amenities, sharing information, and connecting neighbors who need help.

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.

“Board members, managers, and business partners have been working tirelessly to support their communities through this crisis. They’ve had to make prudent decisions to a challenge they haven’t faced before,” says Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, CAI’s chief executive officer. “Despite the uncertainty over the short- and long-term economic implications from the pandemic, we know they’ll continue to lead their communities with health and safety, compassion, flexibility, understanding, and business continuity in mind. CAI will be there to help provide resources and guidance through it all.”

CAI also evaluated the short-term economic impacts of the pandemic on community association managers and management companies in a separate survey conducted in late April.

Of the more than 300 managers responding, 91% reported no change in their employment. And the vast majority (92%) of nearly 130 management company CEOs and senior executives reported that they have not yet had to furlough or lay off managers on their staff, but nearly 31% said they had been forced to reduce staffing levels for other employees in their company.

CAI will continue to measure the short- and long-term economic impacts of the pandemic on community associations, management companies, and business partners.

>>Access CAI’s free COVID-19 resources, FAQs, and best practices.

Amy Repke

Amy Repke

Amy Repke brings over 20 years of experience to CAI serving as the organization's vice president of communications and marketing. Amy's communications career began in television news where she worked as a producer, writer, and assignment manager for both local and network news channels. In 2013, Amy launched a communications and marketing firm, consulting with clients representing political, financial services, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations. Amy has been nominated for four Washington Regional Emmy awards for writing and producing. Amy is a graduate of Old Dominion University and received a master's degree in Strategic Public Communications from American University.

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