Thursday, December 13, 2007

How to Start A Neighborhood Association

Neighborhood Associations bring the community together in order to improve the quality of life for all its residents. If you're looking at this article, there must already be something about your neighborhood that you want to change or you're concerned about, or you may just want to maintain and protect all that is good about it. To accomplish these goals, and build a sense of unity in your community, starting a neighborhood association is a positive step in the right direction.
The goal of a neighborhood association is to help enhance the quality of life in a neighborhood , and help make it a safer and more enriching place to live. If your neighborhood is already in great shape, an active neighborhood group can help it to stay that way, raising the residents' feleing of partnership with those living around them, and giving the community an effective communications link and a voice to speak to government officials, staff , developers and other influential groups.

Getting Your Neighbors Together

A well-organized group of neighbors can be a powerful and influential force coming together to address common problems in their community. Convince them that in unity there is strength! Survey the residents in your neighborhood, then with the solicited data, develop a draft of the platform and take it back out to the community to solicit feedback. The draft platform will take into account the needs, demands and concerns expressed by your neighbors through the survey and molds the association into a vehicle to address those concerns.

Business Plan / Neighborhood Plan

Once you've gotten your neighbors interested in forming a neighborhood association, decide when you will hold your first meeting. The first order of business for individuals attending the meeting should be to ratify the "Neighborhood Plan". The plan should be reviewed from time to time to assess what goals have been accomplished and what needs to be re-evaluated or removed from the plan. New goals can be included as they arise.

The following elements should be included in your "Neighborhood Plan":

  • Mission Statement
  • Goals
  • By-Laws
  • Road Map for the First Year
  • Gathering Neighbors and Business Owners
  • Support Committees
  • Fund-raising
  • Effective Communication Methods
  • Place a Public Notice in the newspaper indicating time and place of your first community meeting

Tips to Remember

  • Attract, Maintain, Recruit new members
  • Involve all residents regardless of race, religion, age and socio-economic status
  • Provide Success and status reports to your community
  • Identity and form partnerships with schools, businesses, centers of worship, local government, hospital, realty companies, libraries, and communiaty centers
  • Constantly reassess the neighborhood plan to insure that it is still working for the neighborhood!

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