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How To Start A Community Association

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Community Association | Comments Off on How To Start A Community Association

As we all know, neighbors are pretty much inevitable. Unless you are trying to mimic Tom Hanks and spend large potion of your life deserted on a tropical island, or you have an isolated mountain cabin – you are bound to have at least one or two neighbors who greets you with something in line of a “Howdy neighbor?” every time you get home from work. Some people do not have good relations with the local people in their community, but most of us are on good terms with them and we enjoy the occasional interaction and social contact with people who reside right next to our door. Also, there are people who love their community so much so that they are willing to form and run complete organizations in order to make certain accomplishments in their small area. These kinds of people are precious, even though some may find them tedious and annoying, but their care and energy invested in the progress are very important if local communities are aiming for better life conditions and more possibilities.

When it comes to those organizations, they can come in many forms and sizes, but the most common one is called a homeowner association (HOA), but the type of your community association depends on many factors, predominantly on the actual type of your area. These associations are generally non-government organizations consisting of members from a small local area, such as village, neighborhood, condominium and similar. They can be based on voluntary participation, or the residents may be obliged to participate and pay the required monthly fee. Also, there are many differences when it comes to the organizational structure of community associations, and they can be permanent or temporary, elaborate and large or simple and easy to maintain, and they can be casual or formal.

When thinking about starting a homeowners association, or any other type of similar organization, you first have to consider several elements and you must ask yourself several questions:

– Is there a need for such an organization?

– How many people actually need this and who will be affected?

– Are those people permanent residents or they are transients (students perhaps)?

– Are they likely to help and does the community have enough “joiners”, or everybody is just minding their own business?

– Can the problem your are trying to solve actually be solved by such an association?

– What after you solve it (or do not solve it)? On to the new one or will you dismiss the organization?

After you find answers to these questions, there are some other stuff which will also require your attention, such as budget, naming, membership, mission statement, and in some cases, i.e. when and if the organization becomes “bigger” – you will have to think about offices, by-laws, and roles for people who are involved in everyday work of the association. But, all those “problems” can be easily solved if the leading people have enough energy and wisdom to balance wishes and possibilities of the neighborhood and to find the right causes to fight for.

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