How Associations Got Started

Associations and How They Got Started

Planned residential development and the idea of a shared ownership and responsibility for the common area have been a tradition dating back to 17th century England.

In the United States, the first Homeowners Association was organized in the 1840s to manage and protect Louisbury Square on Boston’s Beacon Hill. Today, the fact that the square is still a charming park and valuable piece of real estate is attributable, in part, to the attention it received from its Homeowners Association.

The Homeowners Association concept has gained popularity in recent years as a means of conserving and improving the quality of the living environment.

In conventional subdivisions, the land is privately owned in single lots. However, developers and public planning agencies across the nation have been encouraging a system of land development that reduces the size of the individual lot and accumulates parcels of land into open space or common areas. It is these common areas and facilities built on them that are owned by the typical Homeowners Association.

A Homeowners Association gives the homeowner an opportunity (through membership and active participation in an association) to ensure that the physical quality of the residential environment will be preserved and enhanced over the years. It means also that the homeowner will have the opportunity to influence the quality of community life. In addition, a homeowner may enjoy certain amenities without incurring the burden of the cost of maintenance.