Neighborhood Association

Neighborhood associations play a vital role in representing the interests of residents and enhancing our local community. A well-organized association can have a significant impact on the quality of life in a neighborhood. This tool was designed to help residents focus their efforts and organize their neighborhoods for action. Increasing citizen participation benefits the whole community by creating a positive environment of shared responsibility and collaboration.

A Neighborhood Association is a group of residents, business representatives, and/or other interested citizens that devote their time and energy to improve and enhance a well-defined, geographic area where they and others live. Neighborhood associations offer an opportunity for government officials, developers or others to solicit input from the residents that live within a specific geographic area.

Most neighborhood associations are concerned with issues that affect the quality of life in the community. Building upon the assets of their neighborhood, residents can identify and prioritize important projects for the neighborhood to undertake. Neighborhoods can be proactive by preparing neighborhood plans, emergency preparedness plans, or undertaking specific projects such as starting community gardens, upgrading park equipment, or installing traffic calming devices on a residential street. A collective group of motivated residents is extremely effective.

A neighborhood association meeting, project, or social event is a place to meet neighbors, exchange ideas, prioritize projects, propose solutions, and implement plans for the neighborhood.

This is an example of an exceptionally well-organized and active neighborhood association. This example is provided to give you an idea of what a neighborhood association can do, not what it must do. Adapt this information to serve your needs.

The Robinhood Trails Neighborhood Association (78 homes) sponsors several events each year to promote fellowship, enable neighbors to get to know each other better and to just have fun. Food for these events is contributed by the neighbors, pot-luck style. All outdoor events include children. A Neighborhood Watch update is given at each of these functions.

Their events include:

  • February Wine and Cheese Party (grown-ups only)
  • End of May Picnic
  • National Night Out (the 1st Tuesday in August)
  • Fall Wiener Roast (Usually in October)
  • Christmas Party (early December)
  • At other times of the year as needed.

Dues: The association requests a nominal annual dues of $10 per household. The dues are optional, but they encourage neighbors to participate. They cover the cost of paper products and drinks for social events; pay for printing the neighborhood directory, notices and newsletters; and cover expenses for committees, such as flower bed expenses that are not covered by the city.

Directory: The association compiles and distributes a Neighborhood Directory that includes name, address, children’s names, phone numbers (home, cell, office) and e-mail addresses.


Beautification: This committee plans two yearly flower gardens with flowers provided by the city and secures neighborhood help for planting. Neighbors sign up to take a week weeding and grooming the beds during the growing season.

Block Captains: Block Captains serve a number of functions in the neighborhood. They are the first line of security in the Neighborhood Watch system. Block captains also distribute notices and newsletters.

Neighborhood Watch: Neighborhood Watch is a Community/Police partnership against crime. Neighbors phone the Neighborhood Watch president about unusual activity, strangers in the area, vandalism and related concerns. The president phones the Block Captains about the incident, and the network of Block Captains informs neighbors of security concerns and criminal activity.

Newsletter Editor: The association publishes newsletters and notices 6 times a year. The focus is on neighborhood events and concerns. It is a good way to keep in touch, and to get to know neighbors. Neighbors are encouraged to contact the editor to submit items for publication.

Social Chair: The social chair coordinates social events with the hosts of each event. The social chair is responsible for purchasing paper products and beverages for neighborhood parties.

Sunshine Chair: The Sunshine chair sends appropriate sentiments to neighbors on such occasions as extended illness, bereavement, and births.

Zoning Committee: This committee researches rezoning petitions in the area, mounts statements in support or in opposition for public hearings before the Planning Board and City Council and tracks ownership of vacant land.