The Difference Between a Neighborhood Association and a Homeowner’s Association (HOA)

Hello Neighbors!

When we were distributing the Ladera West newsletters recently, we ran into a few neighbors who had questions as to what type of organization we are, and we often get emails asking about our “powers” as an association.  So, we thought we’d take this opportunity to explain the difference between a Neighborhood Association (which we are), and a Homeowner’s Association (which we are not).

A homeowner’s association is a much more formal organization, usually created by a developer for a specific subdivision or project. The association provides for the maintenance of the development’s common grounds and amenities (like landscaping or a pool).  All homeowners are members and must follow the codes, covenants and restrictions (CC&Rs) governing the development, as well as pay association dues (usually monthly).   That is why an HOA can tell you what colors you can paint your house and can fine you for violating the CC&Rs.  (There actually is at least one HOA within the LWNA boundaries.)

In contrast, a neighborhood association (like LWNA) is a totally voluntary organization. Neighborhood associations are organized into sections of a city with a common identity and are  started by volunteers from the neighborhoods themselves.  In Albuquerque, the Office of Neighborhood Coordination helps groups organize and provides resources.  Neighborhood associations offer a place to meet neighbors, exchange information, create projects and priorities, and advocate for issues important to the neighborhood. While there may be dues (much less than HOA’s – in the case of LWNA only 10$ per year per household), participation is voluntary. The association is provided direction by a Board, whose members are elected by the paid members of the association. All board members are volunteers who have chosen to devote some of their time to the betterment of the neighborhood.

Recognized neighborhood associations, such as Ladera West, also give citizens a voice. Neighborhood associations greatly improve the two-way communication between the city and its residents. They also send representatives to other advocacy organizations, such as the West Side Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, who coordinate on behalf of several neighborhoods to communicate concerns and advocate to our elected government representatives at all levels.

We are happy to have you as a member of LWNA!!!

resource: http://www.cityofvancouver.us/cmo/page/difference-between-neighborhood-association-and-homeowners-association

 

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