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Types of Community Associations Continued

In our previous posts on types of community structures, we’ve covered the Planned Community and the Condominium Community, the two most common types of community structures.

In this post, we’ll discuss the Cooperative structure, the least common type of community structure.


Cooperatives are the least common type of community association, constituting approximately 5–7 percent of all community associations. A corporation owns the building or other property that makes up the cooperative. An owner owns a shared interest in the corporation and the exclusive right to occupy or “rent” a specific portion of the cooperative—usually called an apartment. Because most cooperatives are contained within a building, the common area in a cooperative often consists of hallways, elevators, roofs, parking areas, and laundry facilities.

In this type of association, the member is more akin to a shareholder. In cooperatives, the association owns all property, including all the units.

Each of the three types of community associations can exist by itself, or they can be grouped in clusters termed master associations, umbrella associations, or master-planned communities. If multiple uses are included, the term mixed-use association is used.

~ CAI National


The Essentials of Community Association Volunteer Leadership, by Katharine Rosenberry, ESQ.

U.S. Census publications, the American Housing Survey, IRS Statistics of Income Reports, consultation with CAI professional members, and state-specific data from California and Florida and related trade organizations

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