Homeowners Associations as Private Governments: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and Why It Matters


Barbara Coyle McCabe is an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. Her research and teaching interests focus on state and local governments and the intersections between markets and governments. Her work has appeared in Public Administration Review, American Review of Public Administration, Urban Affairs Review, and other journals.


Homeowners associations (HOAs) are private governments that are reshaping urban governance and service delivery in large parts of the United States. Despite the fact that millions of Americans are HOA members, the field of public affairs has paid scant attention to these new governance entities. The essays in this symposium call attention to HOAs’ potential effects on urban services and civic life in the hope of sparking interest among scholars and public managers to include HOAs in our understanding, research, and teaching of contemporary urban governance.