Is Your Community Association A True Community?
The primary mission of any community association is to manage the upkeep of all the common living areas. That in and of itself is a huge responsibility, but an HOA should not stop at paying the gardeners or fixing the roof. They should also foster a positive living experience for all residents. This could mean establishing a calendar of events that will bring those residents together during engaging activities.
While not every activity is going to appeal to all the residents, the mere fact that an HOA goes the “extra mile” to sponsor these events says a lot about the type of people living there.
How can a community association turn neighbors into friends?
As with any other business, when an HOA develops an events calendar they have to take the needs of the many into consideration. A peek in at an HOA in Florida’s calendar of events gives a good indication of a proactive board that prides itself on providing plenty of activities for its residents. There is obviously no problem with pets at this community because they have scheduled a Paw Prints session where the family pooch can get their paws immortalized in cement. They also offer classes in scrapbooking, astronomy, and woodwork. On the long list of group meetings there are events for singles, Italian Americans, and Republicans -not to mention an Easter Egg hunt, a Passover celebration, and a Soup ‘n Salad luncheon.
Clearly not every HOA needs to be as comprehensive when it comes to setting up an events calendar. For example, a Large Scale community may not have nearly as many planned events as say, an Active Adult community, or vice versa! It's very contingent on the members of the community and what their needs are.
An HOA in Texas takes a more low-key approach to their activity planning. Mixed in with the scheduled HOA board meetings is a community garage sale which gives residents a chance to sell some of their “stuff” and clear out the garage. The more homes that participate in a garage sale, the better the chances of a good traffic flow.
Over at another Texas HOA, there is a very extensive list of classes and recreational programs available for the residents - a prime example of providing specific events to fit the needs of the community. On the list of upcoming scheduled activities is a men’s poker night, a ladies knitting group, bible study, and Zumba fitness. In other words, there is a little something for everyone and a strong sense of true community is being built by the board members.
Keep in mind that an HOA is not obligated to ensure that residents have something to do, but that does not mean there cannot be the occasional HOA sponsored perk. Even something as simple as renting a dumpster for a weekend gives residents the opportunity to clear out the clutter from their homes and promotes a positive attitude about the HOA. That is of course if they do not want to bother trying to sell the stuff at a garage sale!
All of this begs the question, what has your HOA done for you lately? Is there an events calendar for your community?
Let us know if you will be spending the summer with your neighbors, or if you’re just building a fence for privacy!