Skip to main content

Cityscape: Volume 16 Number 3 | Article 3


American Neighborhoods: Inclusion and Exclusion

Volume 16, Number 3

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Why and Where Do Homeowners Associations Form?

Ron Cheung
Oberlin College

Rachel Meltzer
The Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy, The New School


Homeowners associations (HOAs) have proliferated in recent decades as an important provider of local public services, particularly in fast-growing states such as Florida. What explains their popularity and, specifically, their formation? We argue that the location and timing of an HOA’s formation are driven by demand-side, supply-side, and institutional factors. Our data come from the most comprehensive statewide database of HOAs constructed to date. We use a duration analysis framework to explore which factors predict when an HOA first enters a census tract. We find that predominantly White, higher income census tracts obtain HOAs sooner, as do tracts farther from the city center and with higher vacancy rates. When we incorporate local public finance variables into our analysis, we find that tracts in cities where residents spend more on public services are less likely to have HOAs, which suggests that public expenditures and HOA services may be regarded as substitutable.

Previous Article   |   Next Article


image of city buildings