CAI received the 2022 Lobbying Strategy Innovation Award for its Condominium Safety Public Policy Report, offering recommendations to prevent building failures like Champlain Towers South.
Community Associations Institute (CAI) is honored to receive the 2022 Lobbying Strategy Innovation Award for its condominium safety policy response and initiatives by the Public Affairs Council (PAC). PAC is the leading nonpartisan association for public affairs professionals worldwide. CAI accepted the prestigious award today during the 2023 PAC Advocacy Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Following the tragic partial collapse of Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Fla., in June 2021, CAI released its Condominium Safety Public Policy Report. This report reflects the work of special task forces convened shortly after the condominium collapse to recommend changes to laws and best practices for the community association housing model that may help both communities and legislators better address building safety.
As the leading international organization for education, governance, and management of condominiums, housing cooperatives, and homeowners associations, CAI brought together the expertise, experience, and perspective of a wide range of stakeholders for the project. Participants included organizations representing engineers, insurance experts, building code officials, and local government leaders to condominium and cooperative board members, homeowners, community managers, attorneys, bankers, developers, insurance professionals, engineers, reserve study providers, and more. Over a three-month period, more than 600 people volunteered tremendous time and expertise through conversations, surveys, research, and interviews in CAI's process of identifying clear recommendations.
The Condominium Safety Public Policy Report provides extensive policy positions and recommendations in reserve studies and funding, building maintenance, and structural integrity.
Since the report's release, CAI's government and public affairs team has conducted outreach to state legislators and their staff and key individuals in federal housing agencies. Advocacy efforts at the federal level have resulted in the introduction of H.R. 7532, the Securing Access to Financing for Exterior Repairs (SAFER) in Condos Act, by former Florida Rep. Charlie Crist (D) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). Crist and Wasserman Schultz also introduced H.R. 8304, the Rapid Financing for Critical Condo Repairs Act of 2022. Florida, Illinois, Maryland, and Virginia passed laws consistent with CAI’s public policy, ranging from reserve study requirements to comprehensive building inspection mandates.
PAC’s annual Lobbying Strategy Innovation Award recognizes an organization that finds new and creative ways to connect and work with internal and external stakeholder groups and engage them with advocacy efforts or policy priorities. In 2022, PAC reviewed more than 50 nominees for its three annual innovation honors. Nominations came from Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, professional societies, consultancies, and large advocacy organizations. CAI was recognized alongside The Auto Group, which received PAC’s Communications Innovation Award, and Feeding America, which received the Grassroots Innovation Award.
“CAI is honored to receive this prestigious award on behalf of our staff and volunteer members who worked tirelessly to create policy recommendations and critical resources supporting homeowners, community association professionals, legislators, and other housing stakeholders following the Surfside tragedy,” says Dawn. M. Bauman, CAE, CAI’s senior vice president for government and public affairs. “We believe that our work does makes a difference in the lives of millions of homeowners worldwide. We dedicate this award to the memory of the 98 residents of Champlain Towers South who lost their lives, loved ones, and those who lost their homes in the tragic collapse.”
“It is through these efforts that we hope that condominium and housing cooperative boards, local governments, and homeowners can come together to adopt policies to make sure a catastrophic building failure like Champlain Towers South never happens again,” says T. Peter Kristian, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, general manager of Hilton Head Plantation Property Owners Association in South Carolina, chair of the CAI Government & Public Affairs Committee, and a past president of the CAI Board of Trustees.