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Abstract

The functioning of condominium communities and projects has received increased attention from housing analysts in many professions. As of 1973, there were an estimated 15,000 condominium and townhouse communities in the United States, a figure expanding approximately by 4,000 annually.

In this context, the proliferation of home owners associations in the communities or projects is of special interest due to their emerging role as a new form of residential government. This role manifests itself as both supplementary and in part complementary to the existing government framework. The collective provision and maintenance of selected services, including roads, utilities, lighting, refuse collection, recreational facilities and others, closely resemble and augment many services offered by cities and counties. The police power manifested as zoning and building controls in cities and counties translates itself into architectural and design control, and various property use, occupancy and related restrictions, in community associations. Much has been written on the methods of organizing these associations, but often discussion is couched in very practical terms without reference to underlying social and economic concepts which may influence effectiveness in meeting perceived problems. Generally, the goal here is to try and bridge this gap.

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