Homeowner associations are the perfect vehicle for transforming neighbors into friends and for creating community loyalty, responsibility, and empowerment. These are important traits for a community to cultivate because they will lead to strong, cohesive, and ultimately happier communities. In order to develop these traits in your community consider incorporating a few of the following suggestions into your community calendar:
- Make people familiar with the board members and what they do. Once people have a better understanding of the positions, responsibilities, and projects the board has tackled, they may be more willing to pitch in and run for a position. Or if owners are hesitant to take on the responsibilities of a board member, consider pooling individual talents and creating committees. This may make it easier for people to get involved in more meaningful way.
- Consider some of these fun and relatively simple ideas for generating some community spirit:
- Throw a block party. This does not have to be an expensive event and will give neighbors a chance to spend time chatting casually and having fun. Make it pot-luck and give some of the cooks in your community a chance to show off their favorite dishes.
- Consider giving out lighthearted community centered awards. Don’t forget about the kids and consider getting them involved in small community service projects that will help instill a sense of pride not only for their accomplishments but for their community. This could be as simple as a trash pick up day, helping to do some upkeep in a community park or checking in on elderly members within the community.
- Use your newsletter to generate community spirit. How about installing a “meet your neighbor” column? Consider highlighting a different community member for each issue and tell the rest of the community about some of their special and unique talents. All done with their permission of course.
- Another possible addition to the news letter could be a column on the community’s history. Many communities have not been around long enough to have an actual “history” but what was there before your house was built? Were there any historical figures that lived in the area? How was the area originally settled?
Try incorporating a few of these ideas into your association and see how the feeling of a sense of connection to the community will quickly translate into a more neighborly and more tightly knit community.