D.C. Summit Addresses Critical Association Issues

D.C. Summit Addresses Critical Association Issues



Community Associations Institute (CAI) members from around the country met in Washington, D.C., recently to address critical community association issues with officials at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and key Congressional leaders.

The intensive advocacy effort, part of a first-ever, federal Legislative Summit organized by CAI, focused on the current inability of community associations to access FEMA disaster relief directly and housing reform—specifically priority liens and uniform rules for determining the financial stability of condominiums. CAI members also shared their perspectives on community manager licensing, professional certification for managers, and flood insurance.

The summit was a “great success,” said Ronald L. Perl, chair of CAI’s federal Legislative Action Committee, a member of CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers, and a CAI past president. “We had a unique opportunity to discuss federal legislative issues at a high level. I’m confident the lines of communication . . . that were opened by these meetings will continue to grow and enable us to better represent the interests of our members throughout the country.”

Federal regulators were equally positive about the initiative. “Your timing for this meeting was spot on,” said Ivery Himes, director of the Office of Single Family Asset Management at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Eileen Zaenger, senior policy analyst for FHFA’s Office for Housing and Regulatory Policy, called the meeting “. . . a huge first step.”

CAI representatives included homeowners, community managers, attorneys, management company executives, and state lobbyists. Organized by CAI’s government and public affairs team, the summit was designed to strengthen the dialog between CAI and federal policy makers. “These relationships are essential so CAI can remain the recognized national advocate for common-interest communities,” said Dawn Bauman, CAE, CAI’s senior vice president of government and public affairs.