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Influence Policy Framing the Future of Community Associations

Support Key Legislative Initiatives to Safeguard Industry and Services


As COVID-19 continues to alter daily life and business operations, Congress is reviewing the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) act passed in June by the House of Representatives. Community association professionals have an opportunity to help shape this crucial policy by persuading officials to specifically include community association and association homeowners in this legislative process.


Community Associations Institute (CAI) supports three policy issues currently being discussed that will impact community associations:


1. Access to Financial Resources



If homeowners become unable to pay their community association financial obligations due to COVID-19’s impact, communities and homeowners will require access to new financial resources.


CAI supports:


  • S. 3620: Establishment of a Housing Assistance Fund at the Treasury Department that we are urging the Senate to specifically include homeowner association assessments.


This bill provides funds for assistance to homeowners to prevent mortgage defaults, foreclosures, and displacements of individuals and families experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020.


  • Additional funding for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19.


  • Community association eligibility for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.


Payroll costs under the PPP program include:


  • Salary, wages, commissions, tips, bonuses and hazard pay (capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee)


  • Employee benefits including costs for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave allowance for separation or dismissal; payments required for the provisions of group health care benefits including insurance premiums; and payment of any retirement benefit


  • State and local taxes assessed on compensation

2. Ability to Collect Assessments

CAI opposes S. 3565 legislation suspending consumer debt collection.


3. Limited Liability for Responsible Organizations

CAI supports S. 4317, Safe to Work Act that limits an association’s liability as common areas and community facilities reopen for communities that act in good faith and comply with local, state, and CDC guidelines.


A Well-Worded Plea Provides the Power of Persuasion



CAI is making it easy for community association professionals to contact officials through its one-click online form. The email to legislators includes a letter stating compelling reasons for giving particular consideration to community associations with regards to the HEROES act. Below is the text that can be customized by each constituent for even more impact.


I am writing to provide you with information to help your constituents living in community associations as you contemplate legislation to help America recover from the impact of this terrible pandemic.


Community associations provide essential services to homeowners and residents typically provided by local governments. The sole source of funding for essential services are assessments paid by homeowners. With 27 million Americans receiving unemployment payments, it is unavoidable that many community association homeowners will be unable to pay their assessments. This will jeopardize the financial viability of community associations at a time when association essential services are most critical.


To help communities and their residents maintain security in housing, I am urging you to consider the following:


SUPPORT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE



  • Support S. 3620 that establishes a Housing Assistance Fund at the Treasury Department and specifically include community association assessments in the program.


  • Support additional funds for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.


  • Support expanded eligibility for community associations (general non-profit organizations that are not 501(c)3s) for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.


PRESERVE ABILITY TO COLLECT ASSESSMENTS


  • Oppose S. 3565, legislation suspending consumer debt collection. Community associations are working with residents who are unable to pay their assessments by offering payment plans and other creative solutions. Taking away the ability of a non-profit community association to collect assessments that are owed will result in the inability of an association to provide utility services and other essential services like trash removal, street maintenance, storm water management, and more.


EXTEND LIMITED LIABILITY TO COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS


  • Support targeted proposals, including S. 4317, the Safe to Work Act, to limit an association’s liability as common areas and community facilities reopen for communities that act in good faith and comply with local, state, and CDC guidelines.


Thank you for your leadership during these critical and challenging times and thank you for considering your constituents living in community associations. If you have any questions, please contact me anytime.


For more information on CAI advocacy, and to access the online form, visit www.caionline.org.


HL Law Group is a boutique law firm that focuses its practice on property damage insurance claims. Call (855) 713-1212 or email us at info@hllawgroup.com if you have a question or a potential claim.


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